Opinion articles

The untold story of the last 12 months

The untold story of the last 12 months

Reading Time: 4 minutes Lebanon is not a country by any easy definition. Whatever your preference in terminology, when talking about a community of people in terms of country or nation there are classic denominators involved that are either geographic, or social and cultural, but always framed as coherent and continuous. But Lebanon? Territorially, linguistically, historically, religiously, ethnically, even

Boosting the Lebanese Food Industry to Preserve and Create Jobs

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Lebanese food industrial sector is capable of supplying most of the basic products that were imported into Lebanon before the onset of the 2019/2020 crisis. The sector’s output encompasses a wide variety of products, ranging from poultry and processed meats, to the whole range of dairy products (except butter and processed yellow cheese), jams,

Industry: Its role and perspective in Lebanon’s economic growth

Reading Time: 4 minutes The manufacturing industry is a core engine of economic growth for developed and developing countries; a fact reconfirmed by recent studies. On this premise, it is natural that the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) play a major role in economic and social policy. As Lebanon faces the worst economic crisis in its history, ALI is

The Knowledge Economy

Reading Time: 5 minutes When I was appointed Minister of State for Investments and Technology (MSIT) in February 2019, I was thrilled to champion the most promising and vibrant economic sector in Lebanon. Technology is often reduced to mean “iPhone” or “app”, but the term can also refer to a rocket, a vaccine, a driverless car or a smart

Five imperatives the new government will need to tackle to create jobs

Reading Time: 4 minutes A second wave of Covid-19 is now battering Lebanon, a country reeling from an unprecedented financial and economic crisis, and still grappling with post-port explosion realities. As a result of these compounded calamities, Lebanon’s economy is likely to end up a fifth smaller by year’s end, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had estimated it

Politics and the labor market

Reading Time: 5 minutes I first came to Lebanon in the late 1990s to lead a development organization’s mission on labor and social protection. Since then, a lot has happened: in 2000, Israel pulled back from southern Lebanon to the international borderline; in 2005, prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated, and many others were murdered before and after him;

Winter is coming to crisis-hit Lebanon

Reading Time: 4 minutes For Neji*, the two-room apartment he shares with seven other men was supposed to be a refuge. Six years ago, he fled his home in Syria to escape the bombings that haunted ordinary life there. Last month, he narrowly survived the shockwave from Lebanon’s largest explosion as it tore through his neighborhood a mere kilometer

Why investing in refugees benefits host communities and the refugees’ country of origin

Reading Time: 5 minutes “We, the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, cannot take it anymore as the hunger is in our body, and the body of our children was ruined because of the lack of food and the quarantine. The evidence of our commitment to the general mobilization and the quarantine is that none of the refugees caught the virus.

Lebanese poverty rates swell across income groups

Reading Time: 6 minutes Over the past year, Lebanon has experienced an onslaught of multiple growth shocks including a banking and exchange-rate crisis, an outbreak of COVID-19, and an explosion that has claimed large swathes of Beirut’s commercial centre and a bulk of trade facilities. These new shocks add to the longer-standing economic and financial crunch that have swelled

UNESCO tackles physical, psychological and systemic educational challenges

Reading Time: 4 minutes UNESCO began coordinating school rehabilitation efforts after the massive port explosion in Beirut on August 4th. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) has requested UNESCO to lead a wide international effort to coordinate the rehabilitation of public and private schools in the Beirut governorate. In this role, UNESCO will be coordinating partnerships, finance,