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Syria, Libya reconstruction to cost $270 billion

Staff writer |
The World Bank estimates that reconstruction of Libya and Syria will cost $100 billion and $170 billion, considering the destruction caused by civil war in these two countries.

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The numbers were made public in Washington by the World Bank’s vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, Hafez Ghanem. He added, according to Panapress, that the funds needed in order to rebuild Yemen, another Arab country at war, are still being calculated.

Panapress also said the bank has a new strategy in place for the Middle East and North Africa, and that according to Ghanem, its goal is to “restore stability and peace and fight poverty and unemployment in the region.”

According to the Daily News Egypt website, the strategy revolves around four pillars: renewing the social contract to allow economies to create jobs for the young and improve living conditions; broaden cooperation between Arab nations; help countries that are welcoming refugees, such as Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt, and create economic opportunities for the roughly 15 million refugees and displaced persons in the region; and rebuild the war-torn nations.

To this end, Ghanem said the bank will center its efforts on improving education, supporting small and medium businesses, bringing development to impoverished areas, and support regional cooperation in education, water and energy.

According to the Egyptian website, he pointed out that the World Bank provided $3.5 billion for the funding of projects in the Middle East in 2014 and added that the institution is negotiating other ways to increase the volume of funding to the region with other financial organizations, such as the Islamic Development Bank.

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