Belhaj speaks during the conference in Beirut, March 28, 2019. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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If Lebanon wants to see any money from CEDRE soon, it needs get serious about implementing reforms, World Bank Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Farid Belhaj said.Friday, Belhaj met with Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil to discuss with him recent efforts to implement badly needed reforms.Belhaj even had a suggestion for the first reform to tackle.Belhaj, who was previously the World Bank director in Beirut, couldn't help but express a mix of what seemed to be sheer incredulity and admiration for Lebanon's famed resilience.Commenting on the social ills of the Arab region, Belhaj said its decision-makers are not aiming as high as they should.Asked by The Daily Star what citizens should do when they are battling a social and political system in which the unwillingness to change is so deeply entrenched that they have lost all hope, Belhaj shared an anecdote that sadly only highlighted the "stagnantly static' status quo in Lebanon.
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