Lebanon

Communiqué at the end of the International Conference on Support for Lebanon

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The President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, in full agreement with the Lebanese governmental authorities, called an International Conference on Support for Lebanon in Paris on 25 January 2007.

The Lebanese Prime Minister described the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort undertaken by his country in the wake of last summer's conflict, with the help of the emergency aid raised most notably by the Stockholm Conference of 31 August 2006. He also presented the economic and social modernisation programme adopted by the Lebanese Government on 4 January.

All participants reaffirmed their determined support for a united, sovereign, independent and democratic Lebanon, and their commitment to the full implementation of the Security Council resolutions in the interest of the Lebanese and the region as a whole.

The International Financial Institutions welcomed the robust and ambitious character of the programme of reform aimed at modernising the Lebanese economy and restoring a satisfactory fiscal position over the medium term. On the basis of this programme, the International Monetary Fund declares itself to be willing in the immediate future to agree rapidly a post-conflict emergency aid programme that will enable additional contributions to be raised for the benefit of Lebanon.

During the discussions, the delegations expressed their full support for the reform programme adopted by the Lebanese Government with the aim of strengthening growth, restoring the broad financial balances, while at the same time responding to the social needs of the Lebanese population as a whole, saluting the coherence and ambitiousness of those reforms. They emphasised the importance of the measures to balance revenue and expenditure and improve management of the public finances, in addition to the privatisation programme. They noted that the programme's success entails the provision of financial backing over the next five years, beginning with aid specifically for 2007. The funding provided by the financial institutions, along with the contributions announced during the Conference, total 7.6 billion dollars, this being additional to the funds raised at the Stockholm Conference.

This substantial level of aid will be provided both in the form of budgetary aid and project financing within the framework of the priorities defined in the reform programme and the coordination and transparency mechanisms put in place by the Lebanese Government. To that end, the Lebanese Government will be working in conjunction with the International Financial Institutions. The aid will be staged over time in order to meet Lebanon's economic and social needs, to sustain the reform dynamic and to contribute as effectively as possible to the effort to reduce the debt burden.