- A year after Lebanese authorities committed to reforms ‘one would have expected more in terms of implementation and approval,’ says IMF mission chief
BEIRUT (News Agencies): “Lebanon is in a very dangerous situation,” the International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday, a year after authorities in the country committed to a program of reforms they have failed to implement.
The financial agency urged “the Lebanese government to halt borrowing from the central bank.” And the IMF’s mission chief to Lebanon, Ernesto Rigo, said during a news conference in Beirut that authorities must accelerate their efforts to meet the conditions required for a $3 billion bailout plan.
“One would have expected more in terms of implementation and approval of the legislation” relating to economic reforms, he said, noting that progress has been “very slow.”
Members of the IMF mission have spent nearly a month in Lebanon, during which they met many Lebanese officials and diplomats in an attempt to persuade them to step up efforts to introduce the reforms they had promised.
Lebanon signed an agreement with the IMF nearly a year ago but has yet to meet the conditions necessary to secure the full financial assistance program that is widely viewed as crucial to the country’s recovery from one of the worst economic crises the world has ever seen.
The economy has been crippled by the collapse of the nation’s currency, which has lost about 98 percent of its value against the US dollar since 2019, resulting in triple-digit inflation, soaring levels of poverty, and a massive wave of emigration.