Author Archives: Jeremy Arbid

Hard and getting harder

Hard and getting harder

Life for Syrian refugees in Lebanon is a daily struggle for survival. Their situation in 2017 has deteriorated, in terms of receiving enough aid or finding work to meet basic needs—and because humanitarian aid continues to decline as financial need rises, next year will not be better. Many Lebanese nationals have also seen their socioeconomic

In need of new energy

Lebanon’s electricity sector was not saved in 2017, despite an emergency plan from the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) endorsed by the cabinet earlier in the year. While the electricity needs for much of the country did not improve much this year, the outlook for 2018 and beyond looks a little brighter. Lebanon currently

Political maneuvering

According to elected officials, 2017 was a year of achievement for the Lebanese state. After years of political polarization that prevented even basic governance, lawmakers made progress this year by passing the first state budget in 12 years, appointing officials to fill vacant positions in security, judicial, and other state institutions, and ratifying a new

Where do we go now?

At the end of 2017, Lebanon does not know exactly where its economy stands because there is a lack of publicly available quantifiable data to suggest what direction Lebanon is headed in the coming year and beyond. We know that the economy is in a bad way, thanks to a few high-level indicators like stagnant

Ball in their court

This summer, after years of procrastination, Lebanon passed a law increasing salaries for public sector workers. To help offset the salary increase, Parliament approved new taxes. But, in a surprising move, a group of parliamentarians challenged the constitutionality of the tax law in front of Lebanon’s highest court, the Constitutional Council, which ruled in their

A multilateral tale

For 12 years, Lebanon did not ratify a state budget, and politicians have never offered an adequate reason to explain why. To understand what went wrong, we need to understand the process. Who should be doing what, and when should they be doing it? What does it actually take to create and ratify a budget,

Getting the books back in order

On paper, the Lebanese state should function. The constitution—frequently ignored as it may be—envisions a rational budgetary process that allows for planning, checks and balances among different branches of government, and an annual allocation of resources based on anticipated needs. In simple terms, every year the government should ask Parliament for the legal authority to

A marriage of convenience

After a nearly decade-long wait, Lebanon’s legislature finally ratified a law encouraging private-sector investment in public infrastructure. The new framework for public-private partnerships (PPP) could allow the private sector to deliver some public services at lower prices than those currently available, says Peter Mousley, the program leader for trade and competitiveness, finance and markets, and

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