Shortage of materials and labour will hamper rebuild

Reconstruction efforts across Lebanon will be affected by logistics and labour supply problems

  • E-Mail
By  Angela Giuffrida Published  July 29, 2006

Reconstruction efforts in the event of a ceasefire in Lebanon are set to be hampered by a severe shortage of labour and building materials. Thousands of construction workers have fled the country since the bombardment by Israel began earlier this month. And the damage to the airport and port in Beirut will make it extremely difficult for building materials to be imported, according to Lebanon’s Council of Development and Reconstruction (CDR). The council has begun to assess the damage inflicted on the country’s infrastructure in collaboration with the Lebanese army and government agencies. “No figures can be given before a final assessment of all the damages has been done,” said Nader Srage, a CDR spokesperson. “In the meantime, all the efforts are converging towards assessment and estimation of all damages, knowing that many areas are still not accessible and under bombardment.” According to research by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the cost of repairing Lebanon’s water distribution networks alone was estimated at as much as US $1 billion (LBP1.5 trillion) even before the current crisis began. And work on CDR’s $3.6 billion infrastructure development programme across the country is now at a standstill. “The impact of the current crisis is going to be severe and any efforts towards reconstruction can only be deployed after cease fire has been attained,” added Srage. Thousands of Syrian workers — the mainstay of Lebanon’s construction industry — have also left since the attacks began. “Lots of construction labourers have returned to Syria — so even when things do get back to normal there will be a shortage of workers,” said Richard Fox, head of Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings at London-based global ratings agency Fitch.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code