BEIRUT— Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and Lebanon’s long-delayed ration card program were unexpected topics of discussion on Wednesday during the Lebanese ministers’ second meeting as a fully empowered government.
Here’s what we know:
• A government source told L’Orient Today that the ministers discussed the resumption of negotiations with the IMF, which is currently slated for early next month after the Finance Ministry announced on Monday that interactions with the group had started up again.
• The governmental source also said the ration card program for vulnerable families is still being studied because its funding source remains unclear. The implementation of the assistance program, approved in June by Parliament with holes in the framework, has been repeatedly delayed due to murky funding sources. The source did not provide details on the card’s implementation.
• Cabinet approved eight of the 10 items originally on the agenda, including an upcoming trip to the United Kingdom by President Michel Aoun to participate in a climate change conference. The government also voted to accept a donation of real estate to the army by Lebanese-born Ghassan Wakim; no further details about the donation were provided. Two items of the agenda went undiscussed because Energy Minister Walid Fayad was not present due to his trips abroad to discuss support to Lebanon’s energy sector.