| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

The worst is yet to come, more citizens pushed into poverty

No country in the world has witnessed what is currently happening in Lebanon; a stifling nay deadly economic crisis has hit Beirut amid a total absence of officials and their inability to face challenges.

The banking system has collapsed and the economic sector is gasping out its last breath. Lebanese citizens wait for too long at the gates of hospitals and stand in humiliating long queues at supermarkets looking for some powdered milk. This is the best they could hope for nowadays.

“What we are experiencing today is a golden age compared to the upcoming worse and more terrible stage,” economic experts told Sawt Beirut International (SBI).

“The Lebanese people are still eating and entering hospitals although with difficulties,” the experts said, noting that a large-scale catastrophe and “crime” is looming.

“When subsidies are lifted, a large portion of the Lebanese will join the social class which lives below the poverty line and which can no longer make a living or feed their children,” they warned.

“The current policies will cause the country to implode and the current course will lead us to disastrous consequences,” the experts said, noting that the economy will suffer from more recession given the scarcity of U.S. dollars.

“The economic sector will have to adapt to declining imports. The restrictions imposed on the operation of funds and banking transactions will deal a blow to the private sector, which depends on liquidity and credit. We can also see shutdowns of businesses, salary cuts and layoffs on a broader scale.”

The USD exchange rate will be skyrocketing, they said, adding “in case the exchange rate is left with no intervention, it will lead to rising inflation, which will have a significant negative impact on the cost of living and the availability of basic goods, foodstuffs and medical care and will take its toll on companies and the joblessness rate.”

“The lack of a clear plan to convene the incumbent caretaker government as well as the continuous political bickering which accompany the cabinet formation process do not help with moving forward towards solutions.”

“Rather, they drive Lebanese citizens to lose their confidence in the political class and confirm the governors’ lack of seriousness in handling the economic crisis and the people’s most basic preoccupations. More dangerously, they make observers, international bodies, financial markets and investors lose their confidence in Lebanon.”