Lebanon - Infrastructure, power, and communications
Lebanon enjoys an extensive, though aging, infrastructure that was severely damaged during the civil war. The country is served by a network of over 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) of primary and secondary roads, 6,200 kilometers (3,853 miles) of which are paved. Since 1991, the government has given much attention to rebuilding the infrastructure. The road system, however, especially within Beirut and in remote areas, remains in poor condition. With growing numbers of licensed automobiles in the 1990s, the road system, especially in Beirut, has become congested. The country's railway system is mostly unusable, due largely to damage sustained during the civil war.
Lebanon has 9 airports, 2 of which have unpaved runways. Beirut International Airport, the country's major
|Country||Newspapers||Radios||TV Sets a||Cable subscribers a||Mobile Phones a||Fax Machines a||Personal Computers a||Internet Hosts b||Internet Users b|
|a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.|
|b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.|
|SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.|
airport, handles 2 million passengers a year. In fact, 35 airlines service Beirut and bring in most of the country's tourists. Lebanon has 12 ports, the most notable of which are Beirut, Tyre, Sidon, and Tripoli. The ports of Beirut and Tripoli are currently being rehabilitated and modernized.
Electrical power is supplied to Lebanon by the state-owned Electricite du Liban (EDL), which has the capacity to produce 1,500 megawatts (mw) of power. Plans are underway to expand power production to 2,700 mw by 2006. Total annual electricity production came to 9.7 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 1998, with the majority produced from fossil fuels. Power production falls short of actual demand, however, and the 220-volt power system is subject to repeated shortages and blackouts. Furthermore, several Israeli raids on Lebanon's power stations since 1996 have led to severe power cuts.
Telecommunications services, damaged during the civil war, have been largely restored. The government has been expanding the public telephone network to reach some 698,000 customers. Cellular telephone service is widely available with some 750,000 subscribers. In 1999, the country had 19 Internet service providers.