WASHINGHTON / BEIRUT – The International Monetary Fund announced that it had reached an agreement to provide about three billion dollars to Lebanon, as part of a four-year deal based on a comprehensive economic reform program.
The IMF stated that the financing plan is based on the implementation of financial reforms, restructuring the financial sector to restore the functionality of the banking system, reforming state-owned enterprises, especially in the energy sector, strengthening governance, and combating corruption, money laundering, and terrorist financing.
At the same time, the Lebanese presidency announced that President Michel Aoun chaired a meeting attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh Al-Shami, the ministers of finance and economy, and the head of the International Monetary Fund mission, to announce the agreement with the IMF on the economic program.
The statement from the Lebanese presidency said that “Lebanon suffers from accumulations that have led to an unprecedented complex economic and financial crisis, a large deficit in the external balance and a steady increase in public debt, which has caused the weakening of the financial system, the restriction of deposits, and the fall of the Lebanese people under the weight of an unprecedented crisis.”
It added, “The crisis requires a comprehensive reform program first to address the accumulated challenges, and then to achieve economic and financial stability, and lay the foundations for sustainable and strong growth.”
The statement continued: “What is required is effective policies and reforms to revive the economy, rebuild confidence, broad support from all parties, and an explicit acknowledgment of the losses in the financial system and agreement on ways to address them.”