Lebanon needs IMF deal to overcome crisis

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati

Xinhua News

24th November 2022 – (Beirut) Lebanon will not be able to get out of its financial crisis without efficient authorities implementing structural reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Thursday.

“Overcoming the crisis must be through a general settlement that includes the election of a new president of the republic as soon as possible, the formation of a new government, the adoption of the required reforms, and the conclusion of a final agreement with the IMF,” Mikati was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Council of Ministers.

Mikati made the remarks at the Beirut Economic Forum 2022, which was organized by the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) in Beirut.

Mikati said that the deal with the IMF would help Lebanon attract revenues in foreign currencies through the fund or donor countries.

“The IMF and donor countries will not support Lebanon if they do not see serious reforms taking place. The conclusion of an agreement with the IMF would also put the country on the path of economic growth, thus reducing social and economic pressures on Lebanese families,” he said.

Lebanon has been witnessing the worst financial crisis in its history amid a shortage of U.S. currency reserves which caused the collapse of the Lebanese pound and a steep rise in inflation.

Meanwhile, the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Beirut port blasts caused hundreds of thousands of citizens losing their jobs, with an unemployment rate hovering over 40 percent, according to Lebanon’s Labor Ministry.