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World Bank: The Lebanese crisis is among the three worst crises in the world

April 4, 2022 at 4:01 pm

A picture shows the vandalised ATM of a bank in the Lebanese capital Beirut on February 18, 2022 [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]

On Monday, the Regional Director of the Mashreq Department in the World Bank, Saroj Kumar Jha, described the crisis that Lebanon is currently witnessing as the worst in its history and that it is among the three worst crises in the world.

Kumar’s words came during his participation in the Lebanon Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework meeting, chaired by Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and in joint coordination between the UN, EU and the World Bank in Beirut.

Lebanon is one long tale of disaster and crisis - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Lebanon is one long tale of disaster and crisis – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

In a speech cited by the Lebanese government, Kumar called for “the need to achieve stability at the macroeconomic level.”

He said, “Lebanon has witnessed many crises, but this crisis is the worst. Indeed, Lebanon’s crisis is among the three worst crises in the world.”

For two years, Lebanon has been experiencing the worst economic crisis since the end of the civil war (1975-1990) that led to a financial collapse, as well as great material losses incurred by the banking system, estimated by the government at about $69 billion.

He stated that the economic situation is dire and “the size of the economic deflation has reached 60 per cent as of 2021.”

However, he expressed his optimism towards “the national reform program led by Mikati, but if this program does not do well, it will lead to a greater deflation of the economy and will lead to a crisis in economic and social conditions.”

He believed that “there is a need for a reform plan that includes a financial program, debt repayment, restructuring the financial and banking sector, and developing social protection systems.”

On his part, Mikati said, “The government is working through the relevant authorities in the public sector to unify a single and comprehensive vision for development, recovery and reform among those concerned, and we are close to completing the unification of this vision to implement the necessary reforms.”

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