Lebanon’s economic crisis blamed on its leaders by the World Bank
Lebanon– Lebanon’s political elite have been blamed by World Bank for orchestrating the country’s economic meltdown. The World Bank issued a warning in Tuesday released report underlining how Lebanon’s economic crisis can be a trigger to long term threat to the country. “Lebanon’s deliberate depression is orchestrated by the country’s elite” that has long controlled the country, said the report by World Bank, titled, “The Great Denial.”
The World Bank’s Lebanon Economic Monitor highlights that the small Middle Eastern country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has plummeted from close to $52 billion in 2019 to a projected $21.8 billion in 2021, indicating a contraction of more than 58%. This is the biggest contraction of all the 193 countries listed by the World Bank publication.
The Lebanon’s economic meltdown began in October 2019 and has pushed more than 75 per cent of its population into poverty. The country’s political class has been blamed for corruption and mismanagement in governance for decades, steering Lebanon into the crisis and further down the cliff. Currency of country, the Lebanese pound, has lost more than 90 per cent of its value, magnifying the crisis further. Banks have deprived Lebanese people from accessing their savings by imposing informal capital controls.
Since the civil war in Lebanon came to an end in 1990, the country has witnessed millions of dollars being spent in infrastructural development. But still today people are bereft of basic essentialities for a comfortable living – electricity cuts sometimes extend to 22 hours in a day, tap water is not drinkable anymore, roads are covered in potholes, sewage system is in chaos leading to unsanitary and unhygienic conditions everywhere.
“Deliberate denial during deliberate depression is creating long-lasting scars on the economy and society,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, the World Bank’s regional director. “Over two years into the financial crisis, Lebanon has yet to identify, least of all embark upon, a credible path toward economic and financial recovery.”