IMF warns Lebanon at ‘very dangerous moment’

Troubled Lebanon is “at a very dangerous moment,” representatives of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday, criticizing the slow pace of reforms needed to unlock billions in loans.

Lebanon and the IMF reached an agreement in April 2022 on a $3 billion loan needed to save the country’s economy, which has been in decline since 2019.

But almost a year after Beirut signed the agreement; the authorities have yet to make the major changes necessary to start a 46-month financial program.

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“We think Lebanon is at a very dangerous moment, at a crossroads,” said Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, who headed the IMF delegation in Beirut, warning the continued “policy of inaction is going to leave Lebanon in a never-ending crisis”.

“Time has a gone by. It’s almost a year since we have reached an agreement,” Rigo added, urging leaders to implement the reforms swiftly.

In September the IMF had already condemned Beirut’s “very slow” progress on implementing these reforms.

“The country is in a significant crisis. One would have expected a lot more in terms of implementation,” Rigo said.

Lebanon’s collapse has left many of the population in poverty while politicians, who many blame for the country’s financial collapse, have done nothing.


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