Lebanon: a humanitarian aid conference chaired by Paris to try to save the economy
The Western powers will try to save the Lebanese economy which is sinking into the crisis.
REUTERS - Hannah Mckay
Text by: RFI Follow
A humanitarian aid conference for Lebanon is being organized this Wednesday, December 2 at the end of the day.
A video conference because of Covid-19.
It is an initiative of France in connection with the United Nations.
It is about mobilizing funds for a country which is going through an unprecedented economic crisis.
Last August, just after the gigantic
explosion in the port of Beirut
, a first conference of this type made it possible to release 250 million euros in emergency aid.
This Wednesday in Paris, donor countries, international organizations and NGOs will meet again, while Lebanon continues to sink into the crisis.
Hyperinflation, devaluation, debt, unemployment, population sinking into poverty ... In its latest report the World Bank lists the figures for the sinking and speaks of an "
arduous and prolonged depression
" due to "
the deliberate absence of 'effective political action on the part of the authorities
The ruling class is clearly being singled out, while for months Lebanon has been seeking a
with the risk of seeing the same political forces produce the same results.
See also: Lebanon: Macron reiterates his call for the formation of a new government
But there will be no economic rescue plan for Lebanon without deep reforms, warned the international partners of the Cedar country.
And this one today needs much more than emergency humanitarian aid.
See also: Crisis in Lebanon: Parliament ready to launch an audit of the institutions
Report: The Lebanese diaspora mobilizes
The alarming situation has mobilized the Lebanese diaspora, which has a strong presence abroad, particularly in Africa and particularly in Côte d'Ivoire which has the largest community in West Africa with 80,000 Lebanese.
Report from our correspondent in Abidjan,
It is precisely this pain that prompted Hussein Abdel Kalek to invest in the campaign to help the people of Lebanon.
This Ivorian-Lebanese accountant and writer, very attached to his country of origin, even if he rarely goes there, has already sent food to his family and friends there, victims of the alarming economic situation ...
Listen to the report
Lebanon, already hard hit by the economic and political crisis, is now sinking into a "serious and deliberate" depression criticizes the World Bank, in its semi-annual report published on Tuesday.
Its gross domestic product is expected to contract by more than 19% this year and its debt to reach as much as 194% of the gross domestic product.
The World Bank could not be clearer: “
A year after the severe economic crisis in Lebanon, the deliberate lack of effective political action by the authorities subjected the economy to a severe and prolonged depression
According to the institution, the country is in hyperinflation, the value of its currency has collapsed.
For the first time in its history this year, it has not been able to repay part of its debt.
He is also adrift, without a government for three months, after the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
Foreign aid is blocked.
Lebanon had started negotiations to obtain financial support from the International Monetary Fund, but they have been at a standstill since July.
For its part, the international community, led by France, has submitted its aid to urgent reforms which have still not taken place.
In this critical context, banks have imposed very strict restrictions on withdrawals and transfers of money abroad.
The cedar country is also hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, protests against the government last year and the explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4, the worst peacetime disaster.
deplores the World Bank, is
suffering from a dangerous depletion of its resources, including human capital, with a brain drain which is becoming an increasingly desperate option.
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