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Canada: Agreement in Principle Between the IMF and Lebanon for a $ 3 billion

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Le Premier ministre libanais Najib Mikati (à droite) rencontrant Ernesto Ramirez-Rigo, chef d'une délégation du FMI, le 30 mars 2022. © Dalati and Nohra aid plan, AFP Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati (right) meeting Ernesto Ramirez-Rigo, head of a IMF Delegation on March 30, 2022.

The International Monetary Fund announced Thursday to be reached an agreement in principle with Beirut for a $ 3 billion aid plan over four years. The Lebanese authorities "agreed to undertake several essential reforms before the meeting of the IMF's Board of Directors, to which the program granted to the country of cedar will be submitted.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced, Thursday, April 7, to have reached an agreement in principle with the Lebanese authorities for a three billion dollar aid plan over four years, while the country of cedar crosses the Worst economic crisis of its history .

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The program granted to Lebanon under the expanded credit mechanism is subject to the IMF management approval and its board of directors, has specified the institution in a statement. "And the Lebanese authorities have agreed to undertake several essential reforms before the IMF Board Meeting," added the Fund.

An IMF delegation had initiated a new mission in Lebanon at the end of March with the hope of reaching a preliminary agreement on a program of assistance for the country struck by an unprecedented economic crisis.

The expanded credit mechanism "aims to support the authorities' reform strategy to restore growth and financial sustainability, strengthen governance, transparency and increase social spending and reconstruction," said the Fund.

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A dramatic economic contraction and a sharp increase in poverty

The IMF nevertheless reminds that this program should be supplemented by the restructuring of the Lebanese external debt with the objective of incorporating the creditors in order to restore the viability of the debt.

"Lebanon is confronted with an unprecedented crisis, which has led to a dramatic economic contraction and a sharp increase in poverty, unemployment and emigration," Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, the IMF head of mission, to the outcome of the visit that ended Thursday.

About 80% of the Lebanese population are plunged into poverty.

The IMF Head pointed out that this crisis is "a manifestation of deep and persistent vulnerabilities generated by many years of non-viable macroeconomic policies that fueled significant deficits". He also noted that the authorities had supported an overvalued exchange rate and that the financial sector was overdimensioned.

Finally, he noted "serious problems of responsibility and transparency".

as many issues that the Lebanese authorities will have to answer.

In addition, the crisis was aggravated by the Pandemic of Covid-19 and the explosion of the Port of Beirut in August 2020, and more recently by the war in Ukraine, main provider of wheat from several countries of the Middle East.

with AFP

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