Economics & Policy articles

Growing trend of individual or community planting in Lebanon

Growing trend of individual or community planting in Lebanon

Reading Time: 7 minutes As prices of both imported and locally produced food items continue to increase and Lebanon’s food security is potentially threatened (see articles on agro-industry and food security), the old Lebanese proverb “fellah mekfi, sultan mikhfi”—which roughly translates to “a satisfied farmer is really a sultan”—rings true. Knowing how and being able to grow one’s own

Lebanon’s refugee restrictions could harm everyone’s health

Reading Time: 3 minutes Government responses to the spread of the COVID-19 virus have exposed the extra barriers to healthcare for refugees and migrants worldwide. But discriminating against already marginalized noncitizens not only erodes their capacity to avoid or survive infection, but inevitably has a negative impact on the wider society’s health. This is undeniably the case in Lebanon,

Confused outlook on insurance coverage for Lebanese COVID-19 patients

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the immediacy of the coronavirus crisis, the most pertinent insurance question for the holder of a medical policy is simple: Who will pay if I need to be hospitalized?  The answer, as with many things in Lebanon, depends. According to Nadine Habbal, acting head of Lebanon’s Insurance Control Commission, slightly more than half of

Leaked Lebanese government reform plan addresses lira peg head on

Reading Time: 15 minutes “The existing dual exchange rate is not suited for the long-term recovery of the Lebanese economy, because of its distortionary nature and the limited availability of FX-resources in the parallel market.”   The Lebanese Government’s reform program, April 6 draft Chained to the dollar for the longest time under a policy favoring partisan interests—but not Lebanon’s

Dystopian nightmare

Reading Time: 3 minutes These are worrying times for all of us. In April the lockdown in Lebanon was extended for a second time. It is possible it will be extended again. On a global scale, our lives have been disrupted en masse in a way in which many people have not experienced in their lifetimes. People are anxious,

Lebanese agro-industrialists discuss challenges and opportunities in times of crisis

Reading Time: 12 minutes Gibran Khalil Gibran’s poem Pity the Nation, published in 1933, could almost have been written about lockdown in modern day Lebanon. Most prophetic is the line “pity the nation that eats a bread it does not harvest.” Lebanon is indeed far from harvesting its own bread, given that we import 85 percent of our food

How coronavirus could bring about a historic chance for change

Reading Time: 24 minutes About two months ago, the assumption was that in terms of viral speed, the only things spreading faster than SARS-CoV2—the coronavirus’ official name—would be coronavirus rumors and fears. This view could pass as news of the month at the time when World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus explained to the world that there

Economic and coronavirus crises threaten Lebanon’s already fragile food security

Reading Time: 7 minutes For almost anyone residing in Lebanon, trips to the supermarket have become laced with a vague sense of apprehension. The more privileged may wonder how much the price of their favorite brand of imported cereal is now (as prices have been inflating since the last quarter of 2019), or if indeed it is still found

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