Lebanon Wants to Leave Behind Its Economic Meltdown
Lebanon has been in a historic economic meltdown for the past four years. The World Bank describes the country’s economic crisis as one of the top three most severe global crises since 1850. The Lebanese lira has lost around 90 percent of its value, while retail price inflation has increased almost tenfold since 2019. Unemployment is exceptionally high, and over half of households are below the poverty level. In addition, the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the economy and the population. The cause of this dire condition can be traced to various factors, such as the government’s failure to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and failure to promote recovery.
The IMF Directors had suggested ambitious structural reforms to heal Lebanon's long-standing economic weaknesses and engender stronger growth. Noting the importance of limiting fiscal risks, they recommended measures to improve state-owned enterprises' governance and operational viability and reform the pension system.
The ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict has also triggered grave repercussions for the entire region. Since October 7 and the beginning of the ongoing exchange between Hezbollah and Israel, the economic scenario in the country has further deteriorated. An 80 percent decline has hit the restaurant sector in business, while Tourism, responsible for 20 percent of Lebanon’s gross domestic product (GDP), has also been hit badly. The business sector in Lebanon is battling it out, and this issue is about those brave warriors in the country who stand strong.