The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Lebanon cannot pull itself out of its persisting economic crisis unless a new government is formed to transform the country and put into practice long-stalled reforms.
“The change of direction cannot be done on a piecemeal basis. It requires a comprehensive approach,” said director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, Jihad Azour, on Sunday.
He stressed that the long-awaited reforms should focus on the financial sector, public finance, governance, corruption, and loss-making utilities that have contributed to a surge in debt.
The crisis in the small Mediterranean country, which has been without a government for months, commenced before the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerated after a massive stockpile of ammonium nitrate, stored unsafely for years, exploded in Beirut’s port in August last year, devastating the port and killing more than 200 people.