IMF talks progressing well, says Lebanon's PM

IMF talks progressing well, says Lebanon's Prime Minister
1 min read
08 November, 2021
The IMF programme is viewed by some as the only way for Lebanon to unlock international aid and begin recovery from the country's devasting economic crisis.
Lebanon's economic and financial crisis is likely to rank in the top ten, possibly top three, most severe crises globally since the mid-nineteenth century, according to the World Bank [source: Getty]

Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday that preliminary talks with the International Monetary Fund were advancing well and a revised financial recovery plan would be complete by the end of November.

"For the first time we have handed over unified financial figures," Mikati told an economy conference in Beirut. "We hope we will have a letter of intent soon."

Talks with the IMF that aimed to secure financial support broke down last year amid disagreements over the scale of losses in the country's financial sector that collapsed in late 2019.

The central bank, private banks and a parliamentary committee representing major political parties argued that losses were much smaller than the roughly $83 billion estimated by the plan, despite the IMF viewing the figures as accurate.

Mikati said the central bank was now "cooperating fully" with Lazard, the advisor that helped draw up the previous plan.

Economists see an IMF programme as the only way for Lebanon to unlock international aid and begin recovering from one of the worst financial crises in the world.