Japan and UNOPS provide urgent energy support to critical lifesaving services in Lebanon
25 July 2023
- Beirut, July 25, 2023 – The Government of Japan and UNOPS launched a project in support of the critical public facilities in Lebanon. The project responds to the energy crisis in Lebanon through the provision of renewable energy and energy saving solutions to public hospitals and water pumping stations in Nabatieh and Bekaa governorates.
H.E. Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Lebanon said: ”This initiative could not have been more timely given the ongoing challenges in the health and water sectors across the country. The project aims to alleviate the daily struggles of the most vulnerable people by solar energy, which is sustainable, reliable and cost effective power supply. Japan, through such projects, is renewing its unwavering commitment to help Lebanon advance on its development and growth path.”
H.E. Mr. Walid Fayyad, the Minister of Energy and Water, noted that funding from Japan is important to help catalyze clean and sustainable energy in Lebanon. Recent studies have shown that electricity currently accounts for more than 75% of the operational costs of the four water establishments (WE) responsible for managing Lebanon’s water resources. These WEs are unable to cover their operational expenses in light of the currency devaluation, but are forced, in the absence of national electricity, to rely on private diesel-powered generators to power their water producing facilities. He added that this initiative will draw in more investment in renewable energy in Lebanon, and consequently support the recovery of the water sector, notably water establishments which have long suffered, risked closure and water cuts due to the prolonged energy crisis.
"The collaboration between the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, Japan and UNOPS in the solar energy initiatives is of paramount importance. In a country grappling with economic challenges and an unreliable power supply, this partnership holds the potential to transform the healthcare landscape where public hospitals can be equipped with sustainable and uninterrupted power sources, ensuring essential medical services are not compromised during frequent electricity shortages. The installation of solar systems provides a reliable and environmentally friendly energy solution that alleviates the burden on the national grid while reducing carbon emissions and paying the way for a greener and healthier Lebanon.” said Mr. Hicham Fawaz, Head of the Hospitals and Dispensaries Department at the Ministry of Public Health.
Lebanon has faced multiple socio-economic crises in recent years. The crises have significantly impacted the provision of basic services for vulnerable communities and people. The reduced electricity supply has significantly affected the operation and functioning of health and water facilities. Muhammad Usman Akram, Representative and Director of UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman, said: “The new initiative will contribute to alleviating the impacts of acute shortage of electricity supply. Inadequate availability of electricity is hindering the continuation of critical social services. Thanks to funding from the Government of Japan, we are able to continue supporting life-saving services.”
The project mainly contributes to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
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UNOPS helps the UN and its partners provide peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions. The organization’s mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. UNOPS services cover infrastructure, project management, procurement, financial management and human resources. Partners call on UNOPS to supplement their own capacities, improve speed, reduce risks, boost cost-effectiveness and increase quality.
UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman covers projects in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen and implements work in partnership with bilateral and multilateral donors, national governments and other UN agencies