Lebanon’s largest bank has said it does not eat at its official foreign exchange reserves to cover medical expenses.
Lebanon’s central bank said on Thursday that access to aid supplies would not be possible without the use of its official facility and called on regulators to find a solution to the problem.
Lebanon, which is in a state of crisis that threatens peace, has been supplying oil, grain, medicine and other commodities since last year.
In a statement sent after Health Minister Hamad Hasan said he had visited the bank and demanded the release of unnecessary medical bills, the central bank – also known as Banque du Liban – had said it would not replace the $ 1.3bn in aid.
“All the costs required by the central bank as a result of the policy will not be paid without affecting the legal environment and this is what the central bank rejects,” the statement said.
Lebanese stocks have dropped dramatically from $ 30bn before the financial crisis reaches the end of 2019 to just $ 15m in March.
This massive funding program costs $ 6bn per year.
Hasan said on television last week that about 50% of essential medicines are available but in reserves waiting to be paid.
Lebanon, which has political affiliations, is heavily indebted and is struggling to secure funding from donor countries and organizations, has said funding will run out in May.
The development and implementation of its collaborative approach, which includes a long list of non-essential items, has been criticized as destructive by traders and consumers.