Lebanon Daily News Brief 9/14/2021

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


Nasrallah Says First Shipment of Fuel to Arrive by Thursday
Yesterday Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah announced that the arrival of the first shipment of Iranian fuel to Lebanon will reach the country by Thursday. The vessel carrying the oil has reportedly docked in Syria and will be trucked into Lebanon across the border. Nasrallah says the second ship should arrive in Syria in the next few days, and the third and fourth will follow shortly. [Al Jazeera]

New Finance Minister to Sign Forensic Audit Contract
Outgoing Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said that the government’s contract with Alvarez & Marsal, the firm conducting a forensic audit of Lebanon’s central bank, will be handed over to the new government for signing in the next few days. The new Finance Minister, Youssef Khalil, is a former central bank official. The audit of the central bank is a key requirement to unlock foreign aid for Lebanon. [Reuters]

Lebanon Continues to Face Critical Medicine Shortages
Lebanon continues to face critical medicine and medical supply shortages. Pharmacy shelves remain bare and the drug shortages threaten the lives of tens of thousands of people. Cancer patients fear they won’t be able to access their medication to complete treatments. Visitors and Lebanese expats have been filling their suitcases full of sorely needed medications to give to relatives and friends during their trips to Lebanon. [AP]


Middle East Institute
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t: A new government in Beirut
Christophe Abi-Nassif

Abi-Nassif writes, “Looking ahead, Mikati’s cabinet faces immediate challenges and priorities, many of which he articulated himself: containing the impact of COVID-19, undertaking reforms (without specifying their scope), reconstructing the Beirut port (without addressing the ongoing investigation into the blast), and organizing elections in the spring. However, the main and purposefully underdiscussed bottleneck — the one with the most lasting repercussions on Lebanon’s society and economy for generations to come — continues to be the recognition and distribution of the tens of billions of dollars in systemic losses. This remains both the precursor to and the centerpiece of any all-encapsulating plan to put an end to the collapse, including any potential negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. While international partners have understandably welcomed the formation of a government, doubling down on the fair and comprehensive resolution of Lebanon’s commercial and central banking crises is more critical than ever.”

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.