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Erroneous information is circulating on social networks and in the country concerning the embezzlement of AFD funds and the theft of 20 million euros by the advisers of the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water through the recruitment of a consultant accredited to the latter to prepare the application decrees for the Water Code, as part of the Programme of Support for Reforms in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Lebanon. 

Agence Française de Développement therefore wishes to provide the following details: 

  • Agence Française de Développement is the sole implementing authority for this Programme, and the only organization capable of managing the budget and calls for tenders made under the Programme. The project funds do not channel through the Ministry of Energy and Water but are in the sole hands of AFD. 
  • The Water Sector Reform Programme is funded by the European Union for an amount of 12.7 million euros, which is equivalent to 15.39 million US dollars to date. 
  • The application decrees for the water law (Water Code) are only one activity in a much larger list of activities necessary for the reform of the water sector. 
  • The international joint venture Hydroconseil / BTD / Hydrophil / ValuADD was selected to provide technical assistance for the project following an international call for tenders, launched and conducted by the French Development Agency in accordance with the public procurement procedures of France, subject to strict controls on the use of funds, the fight against money laundering and embezzlement. 

The Programme of Support for Reforms in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Lebanon, signed between AFD and the European Union in December 2019, aims to support the institutional reform of the sector, as well as capacity building of stakeholders in the latter, and in particular Water Establishments. It aims to shift the paradigm in this sector from an infrastructure-based approach to a logic of ‘services to citizens’.