Lebanon's Economy Is in Tatters, and Financial Aid Is Not Forthcoming without Reform

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah - "Lebanon is the Titanic without the orchestra," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stated on December 13, 2020. The meltdown of the Lebanese pound by nearly 80% since October 2019 has led to triple-digit inflation (120.3% year-on-year in August), paralyzed banks, sent inflation soaring, and is expected to drag more than half of the population into poverty. Lebanon's foreign debt reached $90 billion or 170% of the GDP, one of the highest in the world. The government is in paralysis due to political obstruction by the Shiite Hizbullah and Amal movements. International donors have vowed to assist Lebanon financially once a government is formed and significant reforms are implemented to fight decades of widespread corruption and mismanagement. But this would mean asking the present political elite to commit suicide. The writer is a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center.

2020-12-17 00:00:00

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