Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Statement from the British Embassy Beirut [January 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 10 January 2023.

The British Embassy in Beirut categorically rejects the unsubstantiated, erroneous and misleading claims made in a report on UK support for the IMPACT project published by Al Akhbar on 9 January 2023. We are and remain proud of our contribution to anti-corruption efforts in Lebanon, including the important work of the IMPACT platform, Central Inspection and Judge George Attieh.

The British Embassy agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with Central Inspection on 20 August 2021 which detailed our Governance, Oversight, & Accountability Project. The Lebanese government mentioned the project in their financial plan issued on 30 April 2020. This project consists of technical assistance to Central Inspection. Despite baseless accusations, the project complies with the highest international standards for data protection and security using industry-leading providers.

We were disappointed that Al Akhbar’s editors did not contact us for comment ahead of publishing the article. This would have allowed us to correct a number of factual errors and misunderstandings.

IMPACT’s work is ground-breaking and the first of its kind in Lebanon. Improving access to e-governance provides much-needed transparency and accountability. IMPACT’s high profile achievements include enabling the COVID vaccine roll out and the World Bank Social Safety Net.

The UK is clear that Lebanon’s leaders should focus on establishing a government to deliver meaningful reforms, including to secure an IMF deal. This is a vital step to alleviate the economic crisis and improve the lives of the Lebanese people. We have consistently called out corruption in Lebanon’s governance systems, most recently in an article co-signed by G7 Ambassadors together with the EU Ambassador last month to mark World Anti-Corruption day. We will continue to work with our international partners in support of programmes and institutions committed to combatting corruption and promoting transparency, both of which are fundamental to a better future for Lebanon.