File photo: CGTN
BEIRUT, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- World Bank Regional Director Saroj Kumar Jha urged Lebanese officials to form a new government as the country faces economic issues, a statement by the World Bank said on Wednesday.
"There is an urgent need to stop the emerging economic crisis and restore confidence in the economy," Jha said following his meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace.
Jha urged swift and time-bound measures to ensure Lebanon's economic and financial stability.
"With every passing day, the situation is becoming more acute and this would make recovery extremely challenging," he said.
Jha noted that about a third of the Lebanese by 2018 were estimated to have been in poverty, up from 27.4 percent in 2011-2012.
He warned that poverty rate could rise to 50 percent if the economic situation worsens while unemployment especially among youth, which is already high, could further rise sharply.
"International experience suggests that in economic crises, both the poor and middle classes can be hurt disproportionately, and here's where the new government should intervene swiftly to protect these people against negative effects of adjustments," he said.
Nationwide protests that started on Oct. 17 in Lebanon toppled former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government and the president is expected to hold parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister who will form a government capable of dealing with the current economic challenges.