Lebanon is facing economic collapse

 

A chara, – Although world attention has remained somewhat on the Syria conflict, we must not forget the neighbouring countries that have suffered as a result.

As the flow of refugees and migrants travelling through southern Europe has stemmed in recent years, countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have continued to shoulder the burden.

Lebanon has hosted the largest refugee population per capita globally for nearly a decade.

The host communities have done so unselfishly and with scant resources.

Once known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East”, Lebanon has economically collapsed, with over half of the population pushed into poverty since the start of this year.

Fresh sanctions on neighbouring Syria, Covid-19 lockdowns and constant geopolitical tensions have compounded Lebanon’s misery further.

These events are having a disruptive effect at all levels of the economy, and in particular impact on the most vulnerable communities in the absence of any established social protection net.

The negative impact is being felt mostly by women and girls in this diverse society that Plan International works with.

Lebanon’s dire situation is as a result of years of systemic corruption and mismanagement.

If the international community is genuinely concerned for the citizens of Lebanon, they will need to ensure that funding is channelled directly to those who most need it.

It is in the interests of all parties that Lebanon be spared the fate of becoming yet another wasteland in the Middle East.

The conditional political reform that is being proposed for financial aid for Lebanon will take time; however, people need assistance now.

International donors must act quickly to avoid further catastrophe, and ensure both the Lebanese host population and residing refugees don’t become collateral damage. – Yours, etc,

COLIN LEE,

Regional Director,

Plan International,

Beirut,

Lebanon.