World Bank Warns Lebanon at Risk of “Implosion”
Lebanon was at risk of “implosion” unless it develops a new governance model that is less corrupt and more transparent, the World Bank warned on February 16 . Farid Belhaj, the bank’s most senior official for the Middle East and North Africa, underscored the importance of politicians implementing some much-needed reforms, including improving the electricity supply and reforming the education sector.
Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), delivered a similar message when she said that the IMF will consider financial assistance to Lebanon only “if we are convinced that there is a seriousness in the approach the government is taking.” On February 13, the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab asked the IMF for technical assistance for an economic “rescue plan.” The IMF announced that a team of experts will begin consultations with the Lebanese government on February 20.
Under a new policy announced in April 2018, the IMF affirmed that tackling corruption will be a key pillar of its programming. The IMF said that it will analyze countries’ financial governance to get an idea of how rampant corruption is, and the economic impact. If it concludes corruption is having a significant economic impact, the fund will offer policy advice and in some cases financial assistance to strengthen governance.
While the nature of the IMF’s assistance to Lebanon is not yet clear, the IMF should ensure that its recommendations do not have an adverse impact on access to basic rights.
Lebanon is at risk of “implosion” unless it develops a new governance model that’s less corrupt and more transparent than today’s system, warns the World Bank https://t.co/h6qGQNr5rA
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) February 17, 2020