French Development Agency 'Halts' Lebanon Program Funding

A French development agency that implemented programs since 1999 in Lebanon to fight poverty and promote sustainable development, has reportedly ceased all its activities in Lebanon amid the country’s “inability to pay its debt,” Nidaa al-Watan reported on Wednesday.

A French source said in remarks to the daily, that Agence Française De Développement, a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government, “can no longer provide loans to Lebanon which has defaulted on its debt.”

“Agence Française De Développement is similar to international banks that cannot provide loans to a country that has not paid its debt,” added the source on condition of anonymity.

Amid a crippling economic crisis, debt-ridden Lebanon has in March 2019 defaulted on a $1.2-billion Eurobond payments, its first default in history.

The crisis drags, and Lebanon today is grappled by an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, doubled with a massive port explosion and the COVID-19 pandemic, amid paralysis on the authorities' part.

AFD has been a partner of Lebanon since 1999 and has signed over thirty financing agreements for a total amount of some EUR 1.1bn, it says on its website. Water and sanitation, support for the productive sector and urban development are the three traditional areas of AFD’s action.

Starting in 2012, AFD diversified operations targeting more the social sectors and the management of the consequences of the Syrian refugee crisis.

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Source: Naharnet

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