Lebanon Daily News Brief 03/15/2022

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


Candidate Registration Deadline Today: Some Abstain While Others Announce Candidacy for Upcoming Parliamentary Elections
According to L’Orient Today, “Yesterday was a big day in the electoral context for two of the main establishment parties on opposite sides of the Lebanese political spectrum. Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces, held a press conference launching his party’s electoral campaign . . . Parliament Speaker and head of the Amal Movement Nabih Berri also launched his party’s electoral campaign, including former ministers and sitting MPs Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter . . . Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced Monday afternoon he will not run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.” [L’Orient Today]

Deputy PM: Negotiations ‘Going Well’
According to Naharnet, “The negotiations with the International Monetary Fund have not stopped and “things are going well,” Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh Shami’s office said. Shami’s office negated, in a statement Tuesday, media reports that said the negotiations had stopped and that no results have been reached.” [Naharnet]



Can The Lebanese Feed Themselves? Ask USAID.

Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), “Lebanon has the highest proportion of cultivable land, per capita, in the Arab world. Approximately 60% of citizens outside greater Beirut rely on agriculture—directly or indirectly—and related industries for some form of household income; yet, the Lebanese agribusiness sector is underutilized. Food insecurity is also a problem.” With poverty now afflicting more than 70% of the population, initiatives to restart the agricultural sector are increasingly being funded by international donors. USAID alone has several types of programs focused on improving agricultural production, marketing, and export . . . The agricultural community is cooperative but there are many steps involved in the export of agricultural products, from strengthening “food safety by upgrading food testing laboratories to comply with export market food standards, to making agribusiness more efficient and demand driven,” hopefully both increasing income generation and attracting new entrants into the sector.”

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Carnegie Middle East Program
Moscow’s Southern Accent?

Marc Pierini

Pierini writes,  “…countries in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Africa will face important consequences. The cost of their imports of cereals will rise. Negotiations in the United Nations framework over, say, the Syria or Libya peace settlements will involve a harsher competition for support from third countries. And Moscow will likely increase the promotion of its interests through the deployment of private military companies, military sales, and air and naval basing right.”

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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.