Lebanon gets World Bank loan for historic sites' upkeep

22 April 2003
The World Bank on 17 April approved a $31.5 million loan to Lebanon for the restoration of historic sites. The money will go towards improving the old city centres of Baalbeck, Byblos, Saida, Tripoli and Tyre, which the World Bank says are still suffering from the effects of the civil war. Many historic sites in Lebanon are situated in heavily populated urban areas and local authorities often lack the resources for their upkeep. Part of the loan will be spent on training municipalities to manage the sites more effectively. 'This project treats Lebanon's cultural assets as economic assets and integrates them into the life of the community to achieve local growth,' said Joseph Saba, World Bank country director for Lebanon. 'We saw an opportunity to focus the bank's attention on private sector development, on education and proper commercial exploitation of ancient ruins so that local residents can benefit.'

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