May 27, 2020
Diplomats in New York revealed that efforts are underway at the United Nations and across capitals to prevent Lebanon from sliding into a “catastrophic situation” due to the deteriorating economic and financial conditions, noting that donors are “not ready” to provide aid to government institutions run by Hezbollah.
International officials noted that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, had set Lebanon as a model for countries facing major risks that could be exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United Nations is working with the Lebanese government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on reforms, and is trying to help alleviate what is happening on the ground,” the officials quoted Guterres as saying.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, a western diplomat said: “We are very worried about what is happening in Lebanon economically and financially,” referring to the successive warnings launched by the United Nations Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Jan Kubis, who “expresses growing concern about the deteriorating economic situation and the resulting consequences.”
Observers believe that the demonstrations the country witnessed weeks ago are “a clear indication of hunger and not related to sectarian issues or the need for a government of a different type.”
Recent developments have prompted the United Nations to “mobilize as much support as possible”, including raising $350 million to deal with the Corona epidemic.
However, observers expressed “concern that some donors are not ready to provide any aid to the Lebanese Ministry of Health as long as it is headed by a minister affiliated with (Hezbollah).”
The government must show a clear will to implement reforms, otherwise the country could slide into a catastrophic situation, the observers warned.