Arab countries considering financial deposits to help Lebanon

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2023-03-17 | 03:09
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Arab countries considering financial deposits to help Lebanon
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4min
Arab countries considering financial deposits to help Lebanon

Lebanon used to receive large amounts of money as aid, but the country has been struggling with a financial crisis and political obstacles that have stalled developmental projects. Due to this, Lebanon has accumulated debts that have remained unpaid since before the crisis of 2019.

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan. 
As a result of the economic and financial crisis, both Arab and Western countries have slowed or ceased funding of Lebanon's developmental projects.

However, the doors seem to be gradually opening for the country's rescue.

Some sources pointed out that an Arab country plans to provide a large financial deposit as a banking deposit to be used in case of a significant collapse. At the same time, the Arab Fund for Development has resumed negotiations in Lebanon to help implement developmental projects. 

However, the fund has set a condition that all old debts must be cleared first through reviewing stalled projects and rescheduling the outstanding amounts owed by Lebanon, estimated at around KWD 3,740,000.

In a positive sign, a mission from the Arab Fund for Development is due to arrive in Lebanon next week to review all previously approved projects and find solutions for stalled ones in Lebanon, as well as to demand that the Lebanese government pay some outstanding debts as a condition for approving new projects.

In an official letter, the Arab Fund informed the Lebanese government of its intention to continue financing the projects it funds through loans and grants and to present a new list of projects.

The Arab Fund delegation aims to support Lebanon in overcoming its complex economic and social situation, but with the condition that old debts are cleared, and obstacles that have prevented the implementation of stalled projects are reviewed.

Through mutual correspondence between the fund officials and the Lebanese government, it was agreed to ask the Finance Ministry to approve the proposals of the Arab Fund and schedule related to the postponement of the payment of due installments for the year 2022, estimated for the year 2023, and their rescheduling, starting from the year 2014.

The delegation includes the head of the Infrastructure Projects Department, Mouwafak Al-Saqqar, the Production and Social Development Projects Department head, Youssef Mahyaddin, and financial expert Hatem Abu Laad, among others.

During their visit, which runs from March 19 to March 24, the delegation will monitor loans provided by the fund for water, road, production, and social development projects. They will also discuss the technical aspects of projects funded by the Arab Fund and review the financial aspects of the loans, particularly the repayment schedule and expected cash flows for future withdrawals.

Additionally, the delegation will monitor ongoing aid programs and identify the needs and priorities of the Lebanese government in the field of development projects. 

Moreover, projections planned for execution include those related to transportation, water, and social development, as well as aid to support the reconstruction of Nahr El-Bared refugee camp and surrounding areas and to contribute to relief programs for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Overall, the return of Arab interest to Lebanon after a long hiatus is seen as a positive development. However, the success of the planned projects will be critical.

Thus, will this visit be a glimpse of hope for Lebanon's recovery and the prevention of its final collapse?

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