Lebanon Daily News Brief 03/10/2022

Thursday, March 10, 2022


STL Overturns Acquittals of Alleged Hezbollah Members
On Thursday the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon found two alleged members of Hezbollah guilty of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, overturning their acquittals. Salim Ayyash, another alleged Hezbollah member, was convicted in absentia in 2020 for his part in the truck bomb assassination in central Beirut, claiming the lives of 22 people including the former Prime Minister. [L’Orient Today]

WHO, UNICEF Hand Over Reconstructed Central Drug Warehouse to MOPH
On Thursday, one year and a half after the August 4th Port of Beirut explosion, the Ministry of Public Health’s Central Drug Warehouse (CDW) in Qarantina was finally returned to its operational capacity after the World Health Organization -alongside several partner countries- initiated an untimely expansion of the CDW from 600 m3 to around 2,000 m3 in early 2020 which was put on hold by the destructive explosions that occured later that August. Dr Iman Shankiti, WHO Representative in Lebanon said, “Within our support to the people living in Lebanon who are burdened under so many difficult livelihood circumstances, we prioritized our efforts to ensure that this medicine hub that gives relief to people is restored and upgraded to serve faster, better and leave no one behind.” [Naharnet]

President: ‘Lebanon Committed to Timely Elections’, PM: Dropping Megacenters
In a meeting between Lebanese President Michel Aoun and UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka President Aoun said, “Lebanon is committed to working for holding the parliamentary election on time on May 15 and to continuing the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to approve the economic and financial recovery plan.” [Naharnet] Meanwhile, the Cabinet agreed today to abstain from setting up voting megacenters for the upcoming May parliamentary elections, claiming that it will instead be implemented in 2026. [Naharnet]

Deputy PM: Financial Hole Expected to Grow
As part of his remarks in an economic council on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh Al Shami shared his expectation that the hole in Lebanon’s financial system, originally estimated at $69 billion in September, will grow to $73 billion, and losses in the central bank reserve will only increase so long as the country’s financial crisis remains unaddressed. According to Reuters, he added that, “the state’s contribution to plugging the hole would be “limited” to ensure public debt sustainability, while a depositor contribution was inevitable, in reference to how the losses would be distributed in a financial recovery plan which the government has yet to agree.” [Reuters]



The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies
On The Brink: The Critical State Of Lebanon’s Education System
Rima Bahous, Fadi Nicholas Nassar, Makram Ouaiss

Bahous et al. writes, “As a result of the economic crisis, around 55,000 students moved from private to public schools in 2020-21 alone, thus adding more pressure on the public school system (World Bank Report 2021). There has also been an alarming increase in dropout rates, due both to the extended pandemic closures and the need for additional income among families impoverished by the crisis. UNICEF (2022) reports that: “3 in 10 young people in Lebanon have stopped their education, while 4 in 10 reduced spending on education to buy essential items like basic food and medicine.” The international organization estimates that roughly 13 percent of families are asking their children to work as a way to cope economically . . . There is no sustainable, functioning education sector without resolving the country’s failed model of governance and its all-encompassing economic crisis. In a sense, how we respond to the threat facing one of the country’s most trusted institutions will shape our collective future.” 

Read More Here





Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.