World Economy

Financial Crunch Time for Lebanon

Financial Crunch Time for LebanonFinancial Crunch Time for Lebanon

The Lebanese government will this week seek pledges worth billions of dollars of low-interest-bearing loans from international bodies at a summit in Paris on April 6. Ministers and investors from around the world will head to the gathering that has been organized by French President Emmanuel Macron as part of efforts to rebuild Lebanon’s shattered economy, Bloomberg reported. The country has not fully recovered from the civil war of 1975-1990 or the military onslaught from Israel after its conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. Lebanon must also cope with the strain of taking in 1.5 million Syrian refugees. The idea behind Paris is to garner global financial support for crumbling infrastructure amid concern about the country’s ability to withstand further external shocks. Beirut is said to be seeking $16 billion in loans and grants, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, like other emerging markets, hikes in US interest rates are fueling worries about Beirut’s ability to withstand a level of indebtedness that is almost on a par with Greece’s following an international bail-out in 2012. Dubbed the Cedar Conference, otherwise known as Paris IV, this week’s meeting is one of several planned in Europe this year.


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