Lebanon, which formed a new cabinet amid a financial crisis and mass protests against poor governance, hopes it can restore confidence and secure urgent funding from foreign donors.

Lebanese army soldiers stand guard outside a branch of Byblos Bank in the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon on November 4, 2019.
Lebanese army soldiers stand guard outside a branch of Byblos Bank in the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon on November 4, 2019. (Ali Hashisho / Reuters)

Lebanon is looking to secure $4 billion to $5 billion in soft loans from international donors to finance purchases of wheat, fuel and medicines, Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star cited Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni as saying on Thursday.

Lebanon formed a new cabinet on Tuesday, which it hopes can restore confidence and secure urgently needed funding from foreign donors amid a deep financial crisis. Protesters, which have been struggling to survive, have shown their anger to this with demonstrations in front of the Lebanese Central Bank as seen in the video from the LBC channel

"We will ask the international donors to provide Lebanon with $4 billion to $5 billion in soft loans to finance the purchasing of wheat, fuel oil and pharmaceuticals," said Wazni.

"This injection will cover the country's needs for one year and will also help reduce the run on the US dollar," he added.

An acute dollar shortage has prompted banks to impose controls on withdrawals and transfers, hit the Lebanese pound and fuelled inflation.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab was set to meet several foreign ambassadors on Thursday as the heavily-indebted country looks to rally support. 

It must decide on how to deal with maturing Eurobonds, including a $1.2 billion bond due in March.

Lebanon won pledges exceeding $11 billion at an international conference in 2018, conditional on reforms that it has so far failed to implement.

Source: Reuters