Monday, June 17, 2024

According to the World Bank, poverty in Lebanon has tripled in the past decade.

World Bank Report: Poverty in Lebanon Triples Over Decade Amid Financial Crisis

The World Bank says poverty in Lebanon has tripled over the course of a decade during which the small Mediterranean country slid into a protracted financial crisis. According to a report released by the World Bank, the percentage of people living below the poverty line in Lebanon rose from 12% in 2012 to 44% in 2022.

The report, based on surveys conducted in five of the country’s eight governorates, provided a detailed snapshot of the economic circumstances of the population since the crisis began in late 2019. However, the surveyors were not given access to three governorates in the south and east of the country, making the data incomplete.

The findings showed significant disparities in poverty levels between different areas of the country and between Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees. In the Beirut governorate, poverty declined from 4% to 2% during the decade surveyed, while in the Akkar region in the north, the rate increased from 22% to 62%.

The report also measured “multidimensional poverty,” taking into account access to services like electricity and education, finding that 73% of Lebanese and 100% of non-Lebanese residents of the country qualify as poor under this metric.

Since late 2019, Lebanon has faced a currency collapse, skyrocketing inflation, and a plummeting GDP. Many Lebanese saw an IMF bailout as the only solution, but limited progress has been made on reforms required to clinch the deal, including restructuring the banking sector.

An IMF delegation visiting Beirut noted some progress on monetary and fiscal reforms, but stated that more is needed for a recovery from the crisis. Without an overhaul of the banking sector, concerns about the growing cash economy and potential money laundering issues persist.

The World Bank’s report sheds light on the dire economic situation in Lebanon and underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to address the country’s deepening poverty crisis.

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