| 1 March 2024, Friday |

IMF could visit Lebanon mid-March to discuss aid programme – Deputy PM

An IMF delegation may visit Lebanon in the second half of March to resume negotiations on an aid program based on reforms, said Lebanon’s Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami in a statement on Wednesday.

Last month, Lebanese authorities met with the IMF in an attempt to achieve a deal viewed as the only option to ensure the country’s departure from a 2019 financial disaster that has smashed the currency and left the majority of the population impoverished.

According to the statement, an IMF technical team visited Lebanon from February 28 to March 1 “to take stock of the work already done and identify the next measures needed to secure an agreement on the IMF program.”

These would include “some legislations required prior to taking the program to the Executive Board of the IMF for final approval.”

Sources briefed on the February talks previously told Reuters these would include lifting or amending the country’s strict banking secrecy regulations, credited with boosting Lebanon’s economy in the past but now seen as hiding ill-gotten gains and enabling tax dodging.

“The two parties also agreed that any delay in undertaking the needed reforms and the supporting legislations will raise the cost of adjustment in the future,” the statement said.

  • Reuters