Lebanon’s Electricity Crisis: Syrian Refugee Camps at Risk of Power Cuts, Urgent UN Action Needed

2023-08-22 02:11:33

Beirut, August 21, 2023 (Xinhua) – The Ministerial Committee on the Electricity File in Lebanon warned today (Monday) after a meeting chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati that the governmental (Electricity of Lebanon) Corporation would cut off the electric current in the Syrian refugee camps if the United Nations did not pay the dues.

The official Lebanese National Media Agency stated that the committee asked the Electricity of Lebanon Corporation to intensify communication with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to pay the dues due on the whereabouts of the displaced Syrians for the benefit of the Electricity of Lebanon, on pain of cutting off its electricity.

Last June, the Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water, Walid Fayyad, hinted at the possibility of cutting off the electricity supply to the refugees in the camps if dues were not paid. “We cannot provide electricity if the cost is not covered,” he said.

Most of Lebanon’s population relies on private generators and solar energy panels to obtain electricity for most hours of the day, amid scarcity of supplies coming from two power plants to various Lebanese regions, at a rate of 4 hours per day, of which two hours are distributed during the day and two hours at night, in the absence of modern energy infrastructure in the country.

The Lebanese General Security estimates the number of Syrians residing in the country at two million and 80 thousand, which constitute social, economic and security pressures on Lebanon, which has been facing since the end of 2019 a severe economic and financial crisis.

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