Lebanon Daily News Brief 6/24/2021

Thursday, June 24, 2021


BDL Asks the Government to Authorize Bank Loans to the State
In a statement today the Banque Du Liban asked Lebanon’s government to pass a law authorizing the bank to give the state loans in foreign currency in order to finance subsidies. BDL stressed Article 91 of the Money and Credit Law which requires the central bank to grant the government loans from its foreign currency reserves. [The Daily Star]

Lebanese Pound Hits New Record Low
The Lebanese pound hit a new record low today at LL16,000 to the dollar. The last record low was earlier this month at LL15,550 to the dollar. Lebanon’s currency has now lost more than 90 percent of its value since the October 2019. [The Daily Star]

Lebanon’s Crises Have Left LGBTQI+ Communities With No Refuge
Oxfam recently released a report warning of safety concerns for queer communities in Lebanon. Research in the report looks at the effect of Lebanon’s multiple crises on the LGBTQI+ community. [Oxfam] The report finds that the community’s typical places for refuge are inaccessible and many do not have a safe living space. [Naharnet]


Financial Times
Sanctions Could Force Lebanon’s Politicians to Govern
David Gardner

Gardner writes: “The sectarian mafias that lord [the crises] over Lebanon are insulated by their billions in ill-gotten wealth from the misery and hunger suffered by the poor, or by the sinking middle class whose bank deposits they have for most practical purposes confiscated…The day-to-day political gridlock in Lebanon — without a government since Beirut’s port erupted in a mushroom cloud 11 months ago — is the latest chapter in the sectarian quest for advantage by Sunni and Shia Muslims, Christians and Druze among the country’s 18 recognized sects and their myriad parties…There is growing conviction inside and outside Lebanon that the elites will only start to bargain if their bank accounts and property assets (mostly held abroad) are hit and they are prevented from traveling. Europeans are now preparing sanctions on those obstructing the formation of a government and involved in corrupt practices.”

ٍRead more here

People – Still at the Center of Lebanese Society
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes: “Time and time again, as I spent more time in workforce development, the same negative images of Arabs were repeated: lazy, hard to motivate, careless, unconcerned. I found that this was not the case at all for the Lebanese, who along with their Palestinian counterparts provided the skilled and professional workers for the first two generations working on development in the GCC. In banking, construction, computers, services, and myriad other jobs, the Lebanese excelled at building systems that would carry the GCC countries until their own citizens, educated and trained at home and abroad, stepped up to take responsibility for their national development outcomes, a process still ongoing. These negative stereotypes thrive in states where personal initiative, merit-based hiring, and achievement are subject to the whims of government employees who are paid no matter the outcomes. One only has to look at the success of expatriate Arabs to appreciate the profound and important contributions they continue to make to their countries’ development – from the outside. In Lebanon, the biggest concern today, as a result of its multiple crises, is the loss of its most valuable resource – its skilled workforce.”

ٍ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.