World Bank ready to support Lebanon, urges quick formation of new government

World Bank ready to support Lebanon, urges quick formation of new government
World Bank ready to support Lebanon, urges quick formation of new government

The World Bank said onWednesday it stood ready to back a new Lebanese government and warned that thecountry had no time to waste to fix economic troubles that were becoming worseby the day.

The bank called forthe rapid formation of a new cabinet and said it expected a recession in 2019to be even more significant than an earlier projection of a 0.2% contraction inthe economy.

A wave of massive protests against the ruling eliteacross Lebanon pushed Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign  last week,toppling his coalition cabinet. There has been no sign of progress towardagreeing a new government.

The political turmoilcomes as Lebanon grapples with the worst economic and financial strains sincethe 1975-90 civil war.

The World Bank is among foreign donors who pledged billions of dollars in badly needed aid last year, as long as Lebanon's government enacts reforms it has long neglected. But with foreign allies not fully convinced, the money has yet to flow into the economy.

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