Germany will next week present a multibillion-dollar proposal to Lebanese authorities to rebuild the Port of Beirut as part of efforts to entice the country’s politicians to form a government capable of warding off financial collapse, two sources told the Reuters news agency.
A chemical explosion at the port last August killed about 200 people, injured thousands and destroyed entire neighbourhoods in Lebanon’s capital, plunging the country deeper into its worst political and economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.
According to two diplomatic sources with knowledge of the plans, Germany and France are vying to lead reconstruction efforts. Berlin will on April 7 outline a proposal that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to help fund that would clear the area and reconstruct facilities, they said.
One of the sources estimated EIB funding in the range of 2-3 billion euros ($2.4-3.6bn).
A senior Lebanese official confirmed that Germany was due to present a comprehensive port reconstruction proposal.
Neither the German foreign ministry nor consultancy firm Roland Berger, which the diplomatic sources said put the plan together, immediately responded to requests by Reuters for comment. The EIB was not immediately available for comment, Reuters reported.