May 26
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Lebanese president Michel Aoun has urged international donors to provide financial aid to the country affected by the crisis, as it faces a serious economic downturn, exacerbated by the coronavirus, AFP reported

Speaking at a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon, he called on donors to unlock the $ 11 billion in grants and loans they promised at the Paris conference in April 2018.

The Lebanese government is preparing to launch the long-awaited reform plan, which international partners insist on.

"Given the danger of our current financial situation, and its significant economic impact on nationals, residents, and refugees, our reform programme will need external financial support," Aoun told ambassadors from countries in the support group at the presidential palace in Baabda.

Lebanon is experiencing the worst economic crisis since the civil war of 1975-1990.

The Lebanese pound has lost more than a third of its value on the black market, consumer prices have skyrocketed, and unemployment is rising amid quarantine due to coronavirus.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that foreign exchange reserves fell amid a sharp reduction in liquidity, which forced the deprived government in March to default on sovereign debt for the first time.

The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the country's difficulties, making reform efforts more difficult, Aoun said, seeking help. "Today we are confronting all these crises and their consequences and we welcome any kind of international assistance," he said.

According to him, international partners are responsible for helping Lebanon take on the burden of hosting tens of thousands of Palestinians and at least 1.5 million Syrians, warning of a health disaster if the virus enters refugee camps. "The threat of COVID-19 is knocking on the doors of the camps," he said.

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