In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Lebanon’s economy was praised. “Lebanon’s central bank governor said Thursday that the country’s economy grew by 4% in the first two months of the year”
How does this growth translate? Is this moneys that are distributed to the people – somehow? Or moneys devoted to national institutions – such as health care and education – and not merely roads?
Well, in yesterday’s Al-Akhbar, Mohammad Zbeeb wrote in his editorial about the social and economic situation in Lebanon (all from official governmental data):
28.6% of the Lebanese live below the poverty line with less the $4 a day.
51% of the citizen do not have access to constant health coverage.
75% of the work force does not have access to retirement funds.
40% of the workforce is illegal and not covered by the labor law.
45% of the economically active do not have a job in Lebanon.
0.05% of the inhabitants own 45% of the bank deposits ($34 billions).
66.66% of commodities and services are controlled by monopolies.
and much much more on what he calls “the outcome of 16 years of Harirism exerted with the full support of the traditional political players including the Amal movement and the Progressive Socialist Party (Jumblat)”. (Thanks Rami)
So, what will we, the Lebanese people, do?
It is not merely growth that is important. But growth for whom? At what cost? Distributed how?