Three months late, Libya’s Tripoli-based government finally has a budget. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) plans a balanced budget of LD46.8bn ($33.4bn at the official rate of $1=LD1.39). This implies a 19% rise in spending on 2018’s LD39.3bn ($28.9bn), according to the full 2019 budget obtained by MEES.

Almost all revenues in Libya are accrued from oil and gas sales, and this hasn’t changed since the country started exporting oil in 1961. But planned oil and gas revenues of LD26.4bn ($19bn) for 2019 are suspiciously down 21% on 2018’s five-year high LD33.5bn ($24.5bn; MEES, 25 January 2019). (CONTINUED - 1364 WORDS)