صدى البلد البلد سبورت قناة صدى البلد صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات
Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

World Bank: Poverty in Lebanon Rise Three-fold over Past Decade


Fri 24 May 2024 | 02:35 AM
Taarek Refaat

The World Bank reported in a report published Thursday that the poverty rate in Lebanon has risen threefold in a decade, affecting one in every three Lebanese, while the country has faced a severe economic crisis since 2019 and an escalation in the south.

The report, which was based on a survey that included 60% of the population in the governorates of Akkar, Beirut, the Bekaa, North Lebanon, and most of Mount Lebanon, concluded that “one in three Lebanese in these areas are affected by poverty in 2022.”

The report revealed “a significant increase in the monetary poverty rate from 12% in 2012 to 44% in 2022 in the areas surveyed.”

The World Bank was unable to reach the Hermel region in the east and parts of the south of the country, where Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire and bombing for more than seven months against the backdrop of the war in the Gaza Strip.

The report pointed out that there is a "disparity in the distribution of poverty in Lebanon" between the remote areas and Beirut. The poverty rate reached "70% in Akkar, where most of the population works in the agricultural and construction sectors."

According to the report, the economic crisis forced “households to adopt a variety of coping strategies, including reducing food consumption and non-food expenditures, as well as reducing health expenditures, with potentially serious long-term consequences.”

Regional Director of the World Bank's Middle East Department, Jean-Christophe Carré, said that the report highlights "the need to improve targeting the poor and expand the coverage and depth of social assistance programs to ensure that families in need have access to basic resources, especially food, health care, and education."

A large number of Lebanese blame the deterioration of their situation on mismanagement, corruption, neglect, and the incompetence of the political class that has been leading the country for decades.

Lebanon is suffering from a political crisis and divisions that are paralyzing institutions and preventing the election of a president since 2022.

The authorities say that the crisis escalated due to the presence of about two million Syrian refugees who fled the war in their country to Lebanon, which is the largest number of refugees relative to the population in the world.

The report also concludes that “Syrian families have been severely affected by the crisis,” as “about 9 out of every 10 Syrians will live below the poverty line in 2022” in Lebanon.

This comes as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday that the “negative repercussions” of the war in Gaza and the fighting on Lebanon’s southern borders had “exacerbated the already weak economic situation” in the country.

The IMF said in a final statement of its officials’ visit to Lebanon that the fighting in the south of the country resulted in “the internal displacement of a large number of people and caused damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and trade in southern Lebanon, in addition to a decline in tourism.”

At the same time, the IMF considered that “political measures fall short of what is required to enable recovery from the crisis,” while “unemployment and poverty have reached exceptionally high levels.”

In April 2022, the IIMF announced an initial agreement with Lebanon on an aid plan worth $3 Billion over four years, but the implementation of the plan is linked to the government’s commitment to implement prior reforms, the majority of which have not yet been implemented.