Date set for Cédre donor conference
On February 20, the Lebanese government announced that the Paris IV donor conference— also known as the Cèdre conference—will take place on April 6. Lebanon will reportedly seek a $16–$17 billion package to overhaul various parts of its aging infrastructure, as well as funds to support the Lebanese Armed Forces and the country’s economy, strained under the weight of approximately one million Syrian refugees. Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on February 19 that Lebanon must pass a state budget for 2018 in order to demonstrate its commitment to reform before asking donors for money. Two other international conferences this year—one in Rome and another in Brussels—will also center on garnering international support for Lebanon. In anticipation of the Cèdre conference, an infrastructurefocused conference will be held on March 6 in Beirut to lay out the government’s proposals and explain Lebanon’s new rules for regulating public-private partnerships.