LAF Trains Against Bank Heists According to Al-Monitor, “The Lebanese army held a training exercise Tuesday that was seemingly in response to the string of bank heists in the country. The army training simulated a ‘security incident’ at a bank. The purpose was to ‘detain the perpetrators.’ US and British trainers assisted with the exercise, the army said in a tweet.” [Al-Monitor]
USAID Administrator Power Announces $72 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Lebanon According to Reuters, “The United States pledged $72 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon on Wednesday aimed at helping to feed hundreds of thousands of Lebanese struggling to put food on the table, the director of USAID Samantha Power said during a visit to Lebanon. Power said the aid would allow 660,000 new beneficiaries to be added to the list of people receiving support from the United States Agency for International Development.” [Reuters]
Lebanon-Bound Fuel Trucks Destroyed in Air Strike Over Syria According to the Reuters, “At least two fuel trucks were destroyed in an air strike by an unidentified drone on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq late on Tuesday, Iraqi security and border officials told Reuters . . . ran’s state-run Press TV channel confirmed the attack and accused the United States of carrying it out, saying ‘a convoy of 22 tankers carrying fuel to Lebanon crossing from Iraq to Syria was attacked by U.S. drones’ at the Syrian town of Albukamal.” [Reuters]
Vaccination Campaign Against Cholera Launched in Lebanon According to Al-Monitor, “Lebanon began its campaign to roll out cholera vaccinations last weekend in the country’s northern governorate of Akkar, the epicenter of the outbreak . . . Four-thousand prison inmates and officials have already been vaccinated from a stock of over 13,000 vaccinations donated by France last week. Another 600,000 doses from UNHCR and the World Health Organization are expected to arrive in Lebanon on Wednesday, to be distributed to Lebanese and Syrians in areas with the highest infection rates.” [Al-Monitor]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
L’Orient Today Is Life in Lebanon Still Cheaper Than Before the Crisis for Those Who Have ‘Fresh Dollars’? Philippe Hage Boutros and Fouad GemayelHage Boutros and Gemayel write, “Earlier this year, a survey published by the German organization the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung suggested that only 13.6 percent of Lebanese have access to fresh dollars, half of them through their salaries, paid either partially or fully in foreign currency. This portion of the population is considered privileged given that its purchasing power is preserved or has even increased since the onset of the financial crisis in Lebanon in 2019. This was particularly true in 2020 when consumer prices were slow to keep pace with the depreciation of the Lebanese lira. The picture, however, is more nuanced today. Dollar earners are still privileged, but their purchasing power is increasingly inching toward where it was pre-crisis. Two years ago, they could afford some luxuries they could not have before. Today, however, they find themselves once again conscious of the prices of some goods. In order to offer a clearer image of the current situation, L’Orient-Le Jouranalyzed the figures published by the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS) considering the lira-dollar exchange rate on the parallel market to obtain a price trend in real value. At first glance, it appears that in September 2020, the purchasing power of a dollar earner in Lebanon on a stable monthly income had increased 2.2 times compared to September 2019. In September 2022, this same income was worth only 1.6 times what it was three years ago. On closer inspection, the conclusions are more nuanced.”
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.