WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund stands ready to provide advice and technical assistance to Lebanon in its efforts to avoid a financial collapse, a spokesman for the global lender said, confirming the government had asked for help.

“We stand ready to assist the authorities,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement. “Any decisions on debt are the authorities’, to be made in consultation with their own legal and financial advisers.”

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chris Reese