A 25% economic contraction will be recorded in Lebanon by the end of the current year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report published on Monday.
In April, the Lebanese economy shrunk by an estimated 12% in one of the worst economic contractions in the Middle East this year.
Although the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dealt a powerful blow to almost all Middle Eastern nations, its impact was particularly devastating for Lebanon, due to the fact that it was already suffering from the worst economic crisis in its history.
According to the IMF’s report, all Mideast nations are expected to recover from the recession and see a level of economic growth in 2021, except for two: Oman and Lebanon.
In Lebanon’s case, this is because the roots of its problem are much older and deeper than the pandemic.
The country needs extensive effort and comprehensive reforms to begin to recover from the devastating effects of mismanagement that have been gradually pushing it to the brink for years.
But while reforms are clearly the first necessary step in revitalizing the economy, no serious steps have yet been taken by Lebanon’s ruling class to implement them.
Today, as it experiences crushing economic and financial conditions, Lebanon has no government, let alone a government of independent specialists that is genuinely capable of executing a rescue plan that earns it the confidence of the international community.
Instead, the prevailing scene in the political show is the same recurring disagreements among the main parties that have been criticized by world leaders for their poor performance, particularly when it comes to the stagnant talks with the IMF.