Rebuilding house damaged during war (archives)
Photo: Rinat Malkes
Iran helping Hezbollah rebuild Lebanon
Three years after war, Lebanese government reports $676 million spent on repairing damages caused to houses, mainly from donations of countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Tehran transfers hundreds of millions of dollars through Shiite organization
Three years after the war between Israel and Hezbollah, Lebanon is still licking its wounds. The reconstruction works aimed at repairing the damages of the Israeli airstrikes continue amid a dispute over the output.


While the government is busy releasing encouraging data on the transfer of aid funds, the Lebanese opposition claims that the government continues to demonstrate weakness. The main criticism refers to the fact that Lebanese industrialists and farmers have yet to receive even one penny in compensation.


According to the Lebanese government, about $676 million have already been used to repair the damage caused to houses. Most of this money came from donor countries.


The government said last week that until June it was the one to allot most of the aid funds received from donor countries and from different bodies at a total value of $460 million.


According to the government, 93% of this sum was used to rebuild houses, mainly in southern Lebanon and in the Hezbollah stronghold – the Dahiya quarter. The government says it has an additional $36 million which it plans to hand over to owners of damaged houses, after they turn to "the supreme aid authority" – the governmental body in charge of rebuilding Lebanon.


According to a governmental statement published in the al-Mustaqbal newspaper owned by the Hariri family, by the end of June "the supreme aid authority" had dealt with some 113,000 houses damaged during the war.


Biggest donations come from Saudis

The country which has donated the largest amount of money for Lebanon's reconstruction through the government is Saudi Arabia – with a total sum of about $306 million. Kuwait donated another $89 million.


Two countries who have tense relations with the Lebanese government– Syria and Qatar – have transferred funds directly to the owners of houses damaged in southern Lebanon.


The Lebanon government has noted that it has so far funneled about $94 million in aid to the families of "martyrs" and people injured.


At the same time, Iran has funneled in the past three years hundreds of millions of dollars through Hezbollah for reconstruction purposes in Lebanon. These funds were mostly used for rebuilding the Dahiya, the organization's military facilities, and its military capabilities.


Hezbollah has also used part of the money to rebuild the houses of its supporters in southern Lebanon villages.


Doron Peskin is head of research at Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd.


פרסום ראשון: 07.25.09, 09:58
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