Beirut port's explosions caused up to $4.6 bn in physical damage: World Bank

World Monday 31/August/2020 17:04 PM
By: Times News Service
Beirut port's explosions caused up to $4.6 bn in physical damage: World Bank

BEIRUT: The World Bank estimates the value of physical damage caused by the explosions that rocked Beirut's port on Aug. 4 at between 3.8 billion U.S. dollars and 4.6 billion dollars.

"The country will need international aid and private investment to recover," according to an initial assessment led by the World Bank, in cooperation with the United Nations and the European Union in Lebanon.

Around 190 people were killed and thousands were injured when explosive material stored at Beirut's port detonated on Aug. 4, destroying thousands of buildings in the city.

In addition to the damage caused to homes, hospitals, schools, and streets, the explosions forced many businesses to close, contributing to a loss of economic activity estimated at between 2.9 billion dollars and 3.5 billion dollars.

The World Bank noted that housing, transport and cultural assets are among the sectors worst affected.

"The disaster will not only exacerbate the contraction in economic activity, but also worsen poverty rates, which were already at 45 percent of the population just prior to the explosion," the World Bank said on Monday.

It added that the "implementation of a credible reform agenda will be key to accessing international development assistance and unlock external and private sector sources of financing."