POLICY Statement

April 7, 2022: ATFL Welcomes Staff-Level Agreement Between Lebanon and the IMF – Notes Challenges Ahead

April 07, 2022

Washington, DC, April 7, 2022 (ATFL) - Senior advisers and board members of the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese descent, recently returned from a trip to Lebanon where they met with key government leaders to stress the need for an agreement with the IMF. 

ATFL is pleased to learn that a Staff Agreement has been agreed to between the government of Lebanon and the IMF on April 7. We note the diligent efforts of the US Embassy in Beirut in support of the agreement and commend the work of the IMF and the Lebanese team, under the direction of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, which was led by Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh Al-Shami, and included Minister of Finance Youssef El Khalil and Minister of Trade and Economy Amin Salam. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the Lebanese government commits to a “comprehensive, economic reform program” in five areas: rebuilding the economy, restoring financial sustainability, strengthening governance and transparency, removing impediments to job-creating growth, and increased social and reconstruction spending, initially targeting the electricity sector.

The IMF agreed to provide access to approximately $3 billion in concessionary financing “after the timely implementation of all prior actions and confirmation of international partners’ financial support.” In other words, only action by the Lebanese authorities on the agreed reforms will bring about the release of the funds, hopefully before the end of the year.  

“We applaud the commitment by Lebanese authorities to undertake several critical reforms ahead of the IMF Board meeting,” said ATFL President Ed Gabriel. ”We have met regularly with the IMF and Lebanese negotiating team the past month to emphasize the urgency of completing an agreement and applaud this first and important step. Now the hard work begins as the Lebanese government and newly elected parliament ensures that an IMF reform package is fully implemented, prior to the release of any IMF funds,” he added.

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