It is an outrage that you cannot put in words. As it is continuing within the raging economic crisis, the collapse of education and health has become Lebanon’s worst strategic problem. Yet the establishment continues to neglect the basic human rights of its citizens by failing to prioritize healthcare and education.
The problems of patients who struggle for basic medicines and the problems of children who are deprived of schooling are neither concealed nor are their implications difficult to analyze. The pages of this magazine have published tirelessly about the devastating effects of inadequate policies on the long-term socio-economic health of the nation. It is time to call out these irresponsible and corrupt actions for what they are: human rights violations.
The economic crisis facing Lebanon is not a new phenomenon, but the government’s inability to commit to reforms that address the root causes of this crisis is nothing short of criminal. Without access to quality healthcare and education, individuals are unable to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the modern economy.
This in turn leads to a lack of opportunity and a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break. It leaves vulnerable populations behind and widens the gap between the rich and poor. On a long-term level, it can lead to increased social tensions and instability as those left behind become desperate for necessities and opportunities to succeed.
The crisis has set the clock of economic development back years. But our private sector has successfully expended its ingenuity and human energy, achieving job preservation and creation in many industries. While it is not the sole responsibility of the private sector to address the strategic needs for healthcare and education, it can play a critical role in ensuring that all citizens have access to the basic human rights of healthcare and education. It is time for private initiatives to step up and fill the strategy void. Private sector initiatives can provide affordable and accessible healthcare services and educational programs to underserved communities, helping to break the cycle of poverty and promote social and economic stability.
Lebanon’s corruption-infested model of selective welfare has failed to adequately address poverty and inequality. The state’s band aid policies do not allow for real change. Instead, they create a cycle of dependence and discourage individuals from seeking long-term solutions.
This issue’s cover image was chosen to convey the future at stake; the human cost of bad political decisions and neglect. If we don’t consider a more adequate model which seeks to promote and develop learning and healthcare to equip the population with skills to produce, succeed and flourish, we will remain on this backwards path.
Let’s halt the suffering of Lebanon’s next generation.