Lebanon Daily News Brief 6/2/2021

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June 2, 2021

Daily News

Lebanese Armed Forces Remain Top-Notch Security Partner
Following the conclusion of the multinational and joint military exercises Resolute Union 21, US Central Command and Defense Department officials complimented the Lebanese Armed Forces, and during an online discussion with the Middle East Institute, reaffirmed the importance of the US’s security partnership with the LAF, calling them a “security partner of choice.” [DOD News

Watch the online discussion hosted by MEI

Ambassador Shea Marks Conclusion of Resolute Union 21 Joint Military Exercises

UN Tribunal for Lebanon May Fold Due to Funding Crisis
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri announced it will not be able to continue operating past July 2021 due to a funding crisis. The shortfall stems in part from Lebanon’s worsening economic crisis. Lebanon is mandated to pay 49% of the costs of the tribunal. [AP]

Lebanese Leaders Exchange Barbs as Country Sinks into Crisis
Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed to “friends” of Lebanon to help save the country from economic collapse. He also called upon Lebanon’s political leadership to make concessions necessary to form a government and respond to the growing needs of the Lebanese people. [Reuters] Meanwhile, the dispute between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri has worsened, with each side continuing to blame the other for the current state of affairs. [AP]

Beirut Port is Finally Getting 24/7 Electricity
The Port of Beirut has finally been supplied with 24-hour access to electricity, after a warning last week that electricity shut offs to the port could result in “financial and economic catastrophe.” With full access to power, the port will be able to safely store refrigerated containers and imported food products. [The 961] Elsewhere, the Lebanese will have to contend with fewer and fewer hours of electricity and possibly a total blackout, with the state electric company rationing power to a only a few hours a day. Unlike with past outages, this time only a very few Lebanese will be able to afford to find alternatives like generators due to the impact of the current economic crisis and currency shortage. [UPI]

Opinion & Analysis

The World Bank
Lebanon Sinking into One of the Most Severe Global Crises Episodes, Amidst Deliberate Inaction
Press Release

In a press release issued Tuesday, the World Bank categorized the current economic and financial crisis in Lebanon as likely one of the worst worldwide in over 150 years. In a new report titled “Lebanon Sinking: To the Top 3,” The World Bank examines Lebanon’s economic outlook and risks amid inadequate policy responses. [The World Bank]

Read The World Bank Report

The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies

Wasted Potential: Mismatching Syrian Refugee Skills in the Lebanese Labor Market
Policy Brief by Daniel Garrote Sánchez 

LCPS conducted a survey in three mid-sized cities in Lebanon (Saida, Zahle, and Halba) in order to better understand the socio-economic situation of Syrian refugees and host communities in the country. We found that Syrian refugees have a wide range of skills and experiences that could benefit the Lebanese economy. Despite this, the only work available to Syrian refugees is predominantly in low-skilled, insecure, and precarious occupations. There are several political and legal barriers in place that prevent them from accessing the labor market in Lebanon. The underutilization of refugees’ skills not only reduces their capacity to sustain their livelihoods but also results in a loss of productivity and economic growth for the Lebanese economy as a whole

Read the policy brief here

A Moral Calling from the Pope to Lebanon’s Christian Leaders
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes: “And just like that, the Vatican is challenging Lebanon’s Christian leadership to do what’s best for Lebanon. Most believe it would take a miracle, but maybe this is the beginning. After the noon prayer on Sunday, May 30, the Pope said “On July 1, I will meet in the Vatican with the main leaders of the Christian communities in Lebanon, for a day of reflection on the country’s worrying situation and to pray together for the gift of peace and stability.” The “Christian communities” would be quite large if he includes the Orthodox and Protestant churches, other Catholics such as the Melkites, and the leader of the Maronite Catholic Church…”

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.