| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Sawt Beirut International’s News Bulletin – Thursday, July 1, 2021

In today’s news bulletin:

  • Gasoline crisis exacerbating, clashes among “humiliation queues”, sources told SBI the problem will be resolved in the coming hours
  • A shocking UNICEF report, 30 percent of Lebanon’s children are going to bed hungry
  • The authority turns the “financing card” into an “electoral card”, plans to takeover $900 million

More than 30 percent of children in Lebanon went to bed hungry and skipped meals in the past month, and 30 percent of children are not receiving the primary health care they need. Almost 77 percent of households do not have enough food or money to buy food, according to survey released by UNICEF.

Numbers are really shocking, albeit we know by observation that the socio-economic situation in Lebanon is difficult, however looking at the percentages and numbers puts us in front of a frightening situation. The numbers are not a joke, and the percentages are not a point of view, especially when they are revealed by a credible international organization such as UNICEF.

What can officials say and what did they do after getting acknowledged about these numbers? Nothing. The UNICEF survey has passed as if it wasn’t done, as complete silence prevails among the officials as if the situation is glory.  Usually, in other countries, publishing such numbers would cause a shock among the rulers, and drives them either to resign from the government or change their social policies. But in Lebanon, there isn’t a government even though there are two presidents for the Cabinet, the first resigned, and don’t want to perform business, and the second is designated but unable to form a government due to many reasons.

Meanwhile, the financial, monetary, and economic situation is deteriorating. Parliament representatives are enacting funny laws such as the financing card law, because no one knows how it will be funded, amid the absence of a clear mechanism form its implementation. It was approved only to show people that they are doing their best to rid them of poverty.

The financing card is an “electoral card” that will steal the depositors’ money, and will eliminate the remaining mandatory reserves in the Central Bank. This reminds us with the salary raise law that was approved by the Parliament before 2018 elections, which satisfied workers and teachers for a while. However, this law was a disaster for the Lebanese economy, and was one of the main reasons behind the collapse that we are currently experiencing.

Eyes are on Vatican, to recognize the results of the spiritual meeting that Pope Francis called for. Will the resolution for our intractable crisis come from the Holy City, or the Lebanese politicians will spoil any solution because they are stronger than virtuous saints?

  • Sawt Beirut International