republicworld– The Western Asian country Lebanon, which is already dealing with increasing inflation and a scarcity of basic necessities, is now experiencing a severe power outage owing to a fuel shortage. The country’s electricity grid has completely shut down after its two main power stations ran out of fuel, reported Sky News citing media reports. After the supplies of diesel were exhausted, the al Zahrani and Deir Ammar power stations stopped functioning, and energy production fell below 200 megawatts. A government official informed that the Lebanese power network entirely stopped working on Saturday’s noon and it is highly unlikely to reopen until next Monday. The state energy corporation would try to operate the power plants temporarily using the army’s fuel oil reserve, said the official, adding that it would not happen anytime soon as reported by The Guardian.
Meanwhile, experts have said that a proposal recently put forward by the US ambassador in Lebanon to resurrect a transnational gas pipeline running from Egypt to Lebanon could help in solving the issue to some extent, but it is far from a long-term solution to the country’s ongoing inability to generate the required electricity. On Wednesday, October 6, Energy ministers from Egypt, Syria and Jordan met in Amman to express their willingness to enable gas deliveries to energy-strapped Lebanon. Lebanese officials have stated that the World Bank has volunteered to fund the gas project, but have supplied no further specifics.
78% of the Lebanese population lives in poverty
Lebanon has also been awarded a number of international loans and grants in the last two years, including from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loans were granted on the condition that the country would undertake transparency and corruption reforms, which its ruling class is yet to achieve, even as the crisis-struck nation slips deeper into poverty and dysfunction, reported Sky news. According to the United Nations, 78% of Lebanon’s population lives in poverty, with high unemployment and a currency that has tumbled in value. In the month of August, at least 28 people had lost their lives and many were left injured after a fuel tank exploded at a warehouse in northern Lebanon where fuel was illegally stored. It should be mentioned here that the country is exacerbated by corruption and weak government, which impacts practically every aspect of life and has seen the Lebanese currency plummet by 90% since 2019, reported Sky News citing the UN report.