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50% of youth graduates emigrate, 34% likely to be unemployed and 1.17 million people live below the poverty line

11-6-2014

As Safir newspaper published a report on the galloping cost of living in Lebanon and the increase in unemployment and poverty whereas income continues to stagnate.  According to the report, 40 to 50% of graduates emigrate every year and unemployment amongst the youth reaches 34%, according to economic expert, Elie Yashu3i.
Yashu3i notes that given the continued stagnation of the economy in Lebanon, consecutive cabinets and concerned ministries should have taken necessary measures and adopt economic reform policies so as not to reach the present situation.  He emphasized the importance of administrative decentralization through the election of local councils, the formation of development cabinets which would take care of key issues of concerns as well as levy taxes and sign contracts with the private sector.
The report also conveys the realities of Lebanese women who are no longer able to bear the brunt of further pressure.  Leila Khoury for instance (widow and mother of three) works three jobs and notes that she does not make enough money to cover her needs and those of her family namely utility bills, school tuitions, rent, transportation, etc… as she makes a total on LBP 1.5 million a month whereas her bills amount to twice as much.  The report notes that Leila’s story is similar to many who have limited income in a country that does not provide social benefit.  The report adds that the country average growth rate has not exceeded 1% in 2013 at a time when 1,700,000 people are now living in poverty and where the minimum wage is stuck at LBP 675,000.
Source: Al-Safir 11 June 2014

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