Lebanon Daily News Brief 6/4/2021

Friday, June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Daily News

Lebanon Bank Customers to Regain Access to Up to $800 a Month
Effective July 1, the Bank of Lebanon will restore limited access to dollar withdrawals and the equivalent amount in Lebanese pounds at an exchange rate close to market value. The decision will apply to depositors with accounts active as of October 2019. The Bank announced that further details are to be issued and will apply to the value of accounts as of March 2021.  [Reuters]

World Bank Official: Lebanon’s COVID Fight Going in the Right Direction
A senior World Bank Official praised Lebanon’s COVID response on Thursday, saying that things were moving in the right direction despite problems encountered in the beginning. [Asharq Al-Awsat]

Lebanon Asks UN to Explore Ways to Fund Special Tribunal
Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has asked the UN Secretary General to urgently look into alternative sources of funding for the UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Lebanon, which is supposed to fund 49% of the tribunal, has been unable to uphold its funding due to its ongoing financial crisis. The tribunal is investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. [Reuters]

Insect Pest Eats into Lebanon’s ‘White Gold’ Pine Nut Trade
An invasive insect species is devastating Lebanon’s pine forests and lucrative pine nut industry. The infestation is made worse by climate change, which is creating a more favorable environment for the pests. As a result, Lebanon’s annual pine nut harvest has dwindled from around 1200 tonnes in 2015 to less than 200 tonnes today. [France 24]

Opinion & Analysis

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…”

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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.