In 2021, Lebanon’s human rights situation deteriorated substantially. According to the UN, more than 80% of the country’s people lacked access to basic rights such as health, […]
According to the World Bank, Lebanon’s financial and economic crisis is the result of “deliberately insufficient policy responses” by the Lebanese authorities. Inflation was 281 percent between June […]
The economic downturn has had a severe effect on the healthcare industry. Medicines and medical supplies, the majority of which are imported, are in limited supply, resulting in multiple deaths due to […]
As reported by Human Rights Watch
In 2021, Lebanon’s human rights situation deteriorated substantially. According to the UN, more than 80% of the country’s people lacked access to basic rights such as health, education, and an adequate standard of living, such as adequate housing and power. The World Bank has branded Lebanon’s crisis a “deliberate depression” due to mismanagement and a lack of effective policy measures by Lebanese leaders, putting it among the top three most devastating international financial crises since the mid-nineteenth century. Since October 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost 90% of its value, making it more difficult for citizens to get necessities such as food, water, health care, and education. Due to fuel shortages, there have been extensive power disruptions lasting up to 23 hours each day, putting substantial portions of the nation in the dark for several hours each day. As a result of the energy crisis, hospitals, schools, and bakeries have struggled to stay open. The Lebanese government has abolished or decreased subsidies on fuel, wheat, medicine, and other essential necessities, but it has failed to build an adequate social security policy to protect low-income people from the impact of sharp price rises. Communities on the periphery, such as refugees, people with disabilities, and migrant workers. No one has yet been held responsible for the cataclysmic explosion that occurred in Beirut’s harbor on August 4, 2020, killing at least 219 people and destroying half of the city. Security personnel used extreme, even fatal, force to quell protesters, frequently with impunity. Because of the antiquated nationality law and several religion-based personal status regulations, women experience systemic discrimination and violence. Although Lebanon has made sexual harassment a crime, the legislation falls short of international norms. On September 10, Prime Minister Najib Mikati established a government, putting an end to the 13-month stalemate.
Financial and economic downturn
According to the World Bank, Lebanon’s financial and economic crisis is the result of “deliberately insufficient policy responses” by the Lebanese authorities. Inflation was 281 percent between June 2019 and June 2021. Between August 2020 and August 2021, food costs alone surged by 550 percent. Meanwhile, the national currency has lost 90% of its pre-crisis value, and banks continue to implement arbitrary cash withdrawal limitations. The government chose to subsidize critical imports like as petroleum, food, and medication in 2019. However, in 2021, the central bank ran out of funds to finance these imports, resulting in severe shortages for citizens. Fuel shortages have resulted in widespread power outages lasting up to 23 hours per day. Hospitals, schools, and bakeries have battled to stay open due to supply and electrical shortages, and citizens have had to wait in hours-long lines for basics like petrol and food. The crisis’ impact on citizens’ rights has been disastrous and unparalleled. According to the UN, 78 percent of Lebanon’s population will be poor by March 2021, more than double the predicted figure in 2020. Extreme poverty now affects 36 percent of the population, up from 8 percent in 2019 and 23 percent in 2020. The Lebanese government provided almost no assistance to families coping with the economic crisis, which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, bungling a World Bank loan intended to provide emergency relief to vulnerable Lebanese and repeatedly postponing a ration card program to help families cope with the loss of subsidies.
The economic downturn has had a severe effect on the healthcare industry. Medicines and medical supplies, the majority of which are imported, are in limited supply, resulting in multiple deaths due to pharmaceutical shortages and endangering the lives of individuals suffering from illnesses such as cancer. Fuel and energy shortages in the country have driven hospitals to the brink of “imminent calamity,” with hospitals permanently shutting or warning that they would be forced to close, endangering the lives of hundreds. The value of nurses’ and physicians’ pay has drastically plummeted, causing a mass departure that has placed a significant pressure on the surviving personnel. The Covid-19 epidemic put further burden on an already stressed healthcare system. Lebanon’s rulers have demonstrated callous disdain. H. Lebanese authorities have demonstrated callous disdain for the safety of healthcare personnel on the front lines of the epidemic. Despite the immense constraints on hospitals, the government is failing to pay billions of dollars owed to them. A countrywide vaccination effort was launched in mid-February, and as of November 15, around 30% of the population had been immunized against Covid-19. However, the government’s approach runs the danger of leaving out underprivileged people, such as refugees and migrant workers.
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