Lebanon Reaches Tentative Deal with IMF on Economic Policies

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Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund on Thursday reached a tentative agreement on comprehensive economic policies for the crisis-hit country that could eventually pave the way for some relief, unlocking billions of dollars in loans, the Associated Press reported. The four-year agreement, which is subject to approval by IMF management and executive board, was announced by Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati after a meeting with IMF delegates in Beirut. He said Lebanon promised the IMF that Beirut would implement wide-ranging reforms in the small nation notorious for corruption. The tentative agreement — a first step on what is sure to be a long and complicated road — provides a glimmer of hope for the small Mediterranean country in the grips of a devastating economic crisis. The World Bank has described the economic crisis as one of the worst the world has witnessed in more than 150 years. The IMF said in a statement that Lebanese authorities and the IMF team that has been in Lebanon for two weeks reached “a staff-level agreement on comprehensive economic policies” that could be supported by a 46-month Extended Fund Arrangement, or EFF, with requested access about $3 billion. Read more.