| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Lebanon’s economy spirals downwards, no breakthrough in sight

Lebanese citizens are fighting over bags of rice and sugar, queues of vehicles are snaking around fuel stations, and the U.S. dollar exchange rate is spiraling upwards while the authorities are bickering over quotas in the government to be formed. How does all this influence the economic situation?

In an interview with Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter, Mahasen Morsel, Economic expert Dr Anis Abou Diab said “the delay in implementing reforms is leading us to a deteriorating security situation and more social tension which can result in problems getting out of control.”

“[The lack of] social security resulting from poverty and the dire social situation will lead to a state of unknown. As for the food security issue, there will be no famine but many commodities will be missing as the demand for them will decline.”

“The mechanism for subsidizing foodstuffs is inappropriate, with some traders and many smugglers taking advantage of it,” Abou Diab said, noting that “some are denying the existence of smuggling and its relationship with the Syrian regime but this is not true.”

He added that “whenever the [USD] exchange rate rises in Lebanon, it is linked to a rising exchange rate in Syria. Therefore, there is a strange connection; the more the security and food situation worsens in Lebanon, the more such situation is under tension in Syria.”