Rapid Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Lebanon
Nov 2, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic reached Lebanon at a particularly sensitive time, with regional political pressures piling up and internal turmoil brewing. Internally, decades of negligence, as well as political stalemate, started to manifest in a crumbling infrastructure (i.e. energy, water, waste management), a waste crisis, and a rapidly deteriorating economic situation. Since 2011, the Syria Crisis spillover meant, among other things, that Lebanon would host the largest per capita number of Syrian refugees worldwide. The build-up of the Lebanese frustrations over the years, fueled by increased corruption and declining quality of services (e.g. due to lack of electricity, water shortages, lack of waste treatment, etc.), topped by a rapid devaluation of the Lebanese pound secondary to a severe fiscal crisis, culminated in nationwide protests in October 2019 which were unprecedented in scale and in their broad-based and diverse participation.