This document contains selected news reports about Lebanon in 2022 as well as some past context. Information is provided in chronological order with the most recent at the top. Source and date are used for entry headings.
The following efforts are being made to assist the people of Lebanon.
- Arab.org – List of Groups Assisting Lebanon [View]
- Lebanese Red Cross [View]
- Save the Children [View]
- USAID [View]
- U.S. Department of State, Open Letter – 21 Sep 2022 [View]
Al Jazeera (29 Dec 2022)
“Lebanon inflation soars as economy hit by war in Ukraine” — Global inflation has rocketed in 2022. Lebanon ranks second in a World Bank assessment of countries hit hardest by global food price inflation. That has been driven partly by the war in Ukraine. But even before this, Lebanon’s economy and currency were in freefall. Al Jazeera’s @ZeinaKhodr reports from Beirut, Lebanon. [Source]
Al Jazeera (10 Nov 2022)
“Lebanon on the brink: Is there hope for change?” — For the first time, Lebanon is without both a president and a fully-functioning government. The country’s leader Michel Aoun’s departed office when his term ended last month. He leaves behind an economy in ruins, a fractured parliament that can’t agree on a successor, and a caretaker cabinet that has only limited authority. This unprecedented power vacuum complicates efforts to tackle Lebanon’s financial crisis, which has impoverished 80 percent of its population and is now in its fourth year. Amid political deadlock, people have started holding up banks to access their own money, so now banks stay mostly closed. Regular power cuts, soaring inflation and a deadly cholera outbreak are motivating thousands of Lebanese citizens, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees, to leave the country and embark on perilous journeys for asylum in Europe. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been in talks with Lebanese officials to extend a $3 billion line of credit, but the caretaker government has yet to meet any of the conditions attached to the loan. Advocates say that until the government and the banking system are reformed, there’s little hope for Lebanon. In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the political stalemate, its impact on the economy and what is being done to get out of this emergency. [Source]
Al Jazeera (28 Oct 2022)
“Lebanon faces food crisis as millions depend on food and financial aid” — The United Nations World Food Program is scaling up its aid to Lebanon as the country suffers from one of the world’s worst economic crises. Nearly two million Lebanese and Syrian refugees depend on food and financial aid. With a political vacuum looming, the financial meltdown is expected to get worse. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Beuirut. [Source]
ABC News – Australia (27 Oct 2022)
“Lebanon to return a million Syrian refugees” — Lebanon has begun a massive operation to return at least a million Syrian refugees back to their home country — nearly a fifth of the nation’s total population. [Watch on YouTube]
TRT World (28 Sep 2022)
“Lebanon’s only airport fighting to survive” — An economic and political crisis has crippled Lebanon over the last three years. The cost of fuel has soared, and the country is left with a precious few hours of electricity a day. And for Lebanon’s only airport, it’s a fight for survival. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (14 Aug 2022)
“Lebanon: A cultural melting pot” — This video is provided here to offer some cultural context. [Source]
Six million people live in the cultural melting pot that is Lebanon. Muslims and Christians coexist here, although not always without conflict. Journalist Jaafar Abdul Karim shows colleague Sineb El Masrar the nation where he grew up.
For our 10-part series, Sineb El Marar and Jaafar Abdul Karim toured 10 nations in two years. Some of these countries underwent political and economic upheaval during this period. One of these was Lebanon, the homeland of Jaafar Abdul Karim.
In the first episode of “Mediterranean Journey”, the presenter invites his colleague Sineb El Masrar to the Beirut studio where he records his program “Jaafar Talk”. He takes Sineb along on a tour of the city. It is a place that still bears the scars of civil war: Christians against Palestinians, both of these groups against Arab nationalists and all of them against Israel. The journey continues to the north of the country to Tripoli, where Jaafar meets the activist Lea Baroudi, initiator of the reconciliation project “March”.
Jaafar spends the night at the eco-lodge “Beit Al Batroun”, not far from Byblos. The small estate is a slice of heaven; a dream realized for owner Colette Kahil. Back in Beirut, Jaafar meets the journalist Joumana Haddad, who runs support groups addressing the societal taboo of homosexuality.
He also meets with Zeina Hawa from the initiative “Chain Effect”. She and her fellow cyclists are campaigning to make the Lebanese capital better for bikes. Together with Sineb, Jaafar explores Beirut on two wheels. The next stop on his trip is the Beqaa Valley, where he meets Syrian refugee women making clothes for the fair-trade project “Master Peace”.
Deutsche Welle (4 Aug 2022)
“Lebanon: An economic crisis and the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion” — Lebanon is now going through the worst economic crisis in its history. 80 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. In one year, food prices have jumped 500 per cent due to galloping inflation. Lebanon was long regarded as the Switzerland of the Middle East. But those days are gone. A series of crises have plunged the nation into the abyss. And its people are suffering. For Riad, who runs a grocery store in the suburbs of Beirut, business has become hellish. Every morning, calculator in hand, he changes the labels of his products according to the day’s exchange rate. An operation made all the more complex by the fact that his store is plunged into darkness, due to a lack of electricity. The Lebanese government no longer provides more than two hours of electricity per day in the country. It is impossible for the population to heat, light or use their refrigerators. Taking advantage of the situation, a network of private generators has emerged. The Lebanese pound, the local currency, has lost 90 per cent of its value. The only people unaffected are those paid in dollars. The greenback, which can be exchanged for a small fortune against the local currency, has created a new privileged social class in the country. A salesman in an international pharmaceutical company, Joseph lives like a king in a ruined Lebanon. Thanks to his new purchasing power, he repaid his mortgage in two months, instead of… twenty years! In a bankrupt state, plagued by corruption, six out of ten Lebanese now dream of leaving the country. In Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, Mohammed and his son set out for Germany by sea. Even though the trip was cut short off the Turkish coast, the young father is still ready to take all possible risks to reach the European Eldorado. [Source]
BBC (2 Jan 2022)
“Lebanon enters the new year in a deepening crisis” — Lebanon has begun 2022 in a state of paralysis, with the cabinet having not met for two months, the value of currency plummeting, and the investigation into the deadly Beirut port blast in 2020 has stalled. [Source]
TRT World (30 Nov 2021)
“Lebanon, Between Two Evils” — As Lebanon is falling apart, so are its people. It’s a perfect scenario for criminal gangs. Off the Grid meets the people who are resorting to crime to survive. [Source]
ARTE (9 Nov 2021)
“Lebanon: Whose Fault Was the Beirut Explosion?” — One year on from the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut, the families of the victims are struggling to find out the truth and seek justice. The #Lebanese government had promised an urgent investigation, but the official version of events satisfies no one: According to the authorities, the ammonium nitrate that caused the blast entered the port by mistake after a ship was damaged off the Lebanese coast and an accident in a warehouse caused the explosion. [Source]
BBC (27 Oct 2021)
“Lebanon’s economic crisis: ‘No food, no gas, no hope'” — As Lebanon’s crisis continues to intensify, how are people trying to cope in the midst of financial devastation? [Source]
Al Jazeera (27 Sep 2021)
“Why Lebanon is so hard to fix” — Lebanon is in crisis. The economy is collapsing, there are big shortages of basics like fuel and medicine, and there’s little faith that the new government will turn things around. How did it get so bad and why is it so hard to fix? #AJStartHere with Sandra Gathmann explains. [Source]
Al Jazeera (1 Aug 2021)
“Beirut’s search for answers” — A year on since one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history, Beirut continues to search for answers. Families of the victims of the explosion at the port continue to demand answers. The investigations have not uncovered what triggered the explosion and the origins of the shipment that exploded. And attempts by the lead judge to prosecute some of those believed responsible for unsafely storing tens ammonium nitrate at the port for years have faced political backlash. [Source]
VICE News (11 Mar 2021)
“Lebanon’s 2019 Protests Ousted a Prime Minister — So Why’s He Back In Power Again?” — The first wave of the Arab Spring didn’t spread immediately to Lebanon, but it didn’t take long for the effects to be felt here. One and a half million Syrians took refuge in here, to escape the civil war at home. Over the past decade there have been two major protests movements here, in 2011 and 2015. They were a foreshadowing of what was to come. Although the Lebanese state was collapsing slowly, it took a disaster to trigger national revolt. The events of late 2019 marked a shift in Lebanon but it was events that followed that continue to shape it today. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (11 Jul 2020)
“What pushed Lebanon’s economy to the brink of collapse?” — Lebanon is on the brink of economic collapse, and the coronavirus isn’t entirely to blame. The local currency has lost more than 80% of its value on the black market. Inflation is ballooning toward hyperinflation, sending food prices through the roof, and leaving Lebanese from all walks of life unable to feed their families. If the current trend persists, the government warns 60% the population could fall into poverty by the end of 2020. So how did we get here? DW’s Aya Ibrahim explains. [Source]