UNICEF Urges for Water Reform in Lebanon, Critical to Fight Against Cholera According to the in-country representative of UNICEF, Edouard Beigbeder, the UN repeatedly warned authorities against deteriorating sanitary conditions, which has created the conditions for the more than 1,447 estimated cases of Cholera that Lebanon is now facing, leaving 17 dead so far. [LOrient Today]
Electricite du Liban (EDL) Begins Higher Rates for Electricity According to Reuters, “Power will now be priced at 10 U.S. dollar cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 100 kWh consumed, and 27 cents per kWh for consumption above that, the EDL spokesperson said.The higher end of the new tarrif is roughly half what people pay for subscriptions to private generator services that have filled the power gap for decades.” [Reuters]
Russia to Donate Wheat, Fuel to Lebanon According to Naharnet, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially authorized a wheat and fuel grant to crisis-hit Lebanon, media reports said. The grant consists of 25,000 tons of wheat and ten tons of fuel oil. Caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamieh was informed of the approval overnight and the delivery date will be revealed within the next two days, the reports added.” [Naharnet]
Lebanon Seizes Captagon Pills in Another Smuggling Attempt According to Arab News, “[In the southern Lebanese city of Ghazieh,] Lebanese security forces seized over five million captagon pills hidden inside construction material [officially bound for Sudan via Ivory Coast], the interior minister said Tuesday, in the latest bust of the amphetamine-type stimulant.” [Arab News]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
L’Orient Today The Six-Year Dusk Élie FayadFayad writes, “On Feb. 6, 2006, Michel Aoun and Hassan Nasrallah convened in Beirut’s southern suburb of Mar Mikhael to sign a memorandum of understanding that radically changed the political landscape and course of events in Lebanon. Nearly a year after the political and diplomatic earthquake that the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri caused in Lebanon, this new Free Patriotic Movement-Hezbollah alliance gradually broke the tremendous “Libanist” response that the March 14, 2005 uprising instilled in the country. The term “Libanist” must be construed here as a sovereignist assertion in the face of external tutelage and as a nascent promotion of the idea of belonging to a Lebanese state that transcends sectarian allegiances. What does the Mar Mikhael agreement involve to have crucially contributed to such a turn of history in just one decade? It is simply an ordinary sharing of roles between two actors dominated by a terrible thirst for revenge: for the centuries-long oppression targeting the region’s Shiites on the one hand, and on the other, more for the personal humiliation Aoun suffered at the hands of an abhorred Christian political establishment. Some would add that there were institutional motivations linked to the desire to restore the prerogatives that the Taif Agreement “stripped” the president of.”
Al Monitor Lebanon’s Worsening Health Sector Leaves Patients Suffering Rodayna RaydanRaydan writes, “Throughout Beirut and other regions, adults and children struggle for survival in a country crippled by poverty and debts, who share one thing in common — their fight against illness and a struggle to stay alive. ‘It’s mentally, morally and physically exhausting,’ is how breast cancer patient Rima Khodr described her days to Al-Monitor. ‘Cancer can be treated, but the economic collapse in Lebanon is turning it into a death sentence.’ Most Lebanese diagnosed with cancer cannot afford to start treatment or get their hands on medicine that are imported and sold at high prices.”
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.