BEIRUT – Lebanese President Michel Aoun shared a statement detailing the topics discussed during Friday’s Cabinet meeting to address what Aoun called a “very delicate financial situation,” including food security and repatriation in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Here’s what we know:
• Aoun stressed the “importance of taking quick action to guarantee food security for the Lebanese following developments between Russia and Ukraine” and the “need to face increasing prices and monopolies.”
• On the subject of the “Russian-Ukrainian conflict,” Prime Minister Najib MIkati said that Lebanon’s “position” criticism of Moscow’s invasion was motivated by a “historical” and “primordial position condemning any country invading a neighboring state.” Aoun urged that “urgent assistance” be provided to Lebanese in Ukraine and that their repatriation be “secured.”
• The president also spoke about the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, which highlighted the need for a recovery plan that would be completed “as soon as possible” and would include “the restructuring of Banque du Liban and the [commercial] banks, a unified exchange rate, the distribution of losses, the necessary structural financial reforms, and a plan for the social safety net.”
• Mikati discussed his deliberations with the US treasury department delegation, during which the “activation of the national anti-corruption body” was highlighted.
• Following up on the World Bank-funded Emergency Social Safety Net (or “Aman”) program, which is intended to offer cash assistance to Lebanon’s poorest families, the prime minister expressed confidence that the distribution of social assistance would begin next week, and congratulated the social affairs minister for his “efforts.”