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Lebanon’s social explosion dilemma

Hiba Huneini|-Lebanon is undergoing an unprecedented financial and economic deterioration as the middle class is gradually disappearing, basic needs are becoming increasingly scarce, the unemployment rate is soaring, and brain drain is out of control. People are being pushed to extreme poverty lines. The grievances and sense of insecurity are surging to the peak where the state is trapped with no concrete road map to exit from complex crises. The Lebanese Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) submitted a paper on “redirecting subsidies” based on a participative approach process with relevant stakeholders. The paper introduced a series of recommended urgent measures to be implemented for 12 months to remove subsidies gradually on most commodities within a holistic program for rescue, reform and recovery, in conjunction with activating work with direct cash assistance in dollars via a cash card, taking into consideration the increase in their value in parallel with the subsidy lifting process. The paper highlighted the importance of merging all direct cash assistance programs under one centralized governmental mechanism that puts clear and unified selection criteria and sets a National Social Registry.
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