“Poverty is the mother of all maliciousness and nefarious, it is humanity's number one enemy”
Gaby F. Yazigy
Poverty in Lebanon is mainly a function of geographical and socio economic disparities.
Poverty in Lebanon had its specificities could not be assessed just in terms of standardized international definitions.
There are different approaches to determine poverty, such as the widely "poverty line" or the "minimum basic needs" methods, although useful, may not reflect some of the realities of the Lebanese scene. In trying to identify those specificities, several factors should be put:
§The Lebanese civil war (1977-1991) and the estimated 25 billion $ national loss it generated;
§The nature of reconstruction policies adopted during the 90's, led to $42 billion foreign debts and the exclusive focus on economic policies to the detriment of investing in social and human resources that could have provided better social safety nets and stronger foundations for sustainable development;
§The assassination of Prime Minister Hariri;
The recent war of July 2006 which affected the whole economy, in that summer the tourism industry was expecting its better ever season, with the number of visitors up by an astonishing 50% in the first six months of the year. The Lebanese Tourism Ministry was counting on a record 1.6 million visitors to spend $2.5 billion. Tourism accounts estimated for 15% of Lebanon’s gross domestic products (GDP). This war inflicted more than $200 million worth of damage. The circumstances followed like the political instability and the total collapse of the economy, where many factories and companies alongside with small business has collapsed. So, War is seen as the main cause of poverty in Lebanon. Indeed, the years of violence and the war of July 2006, did significant damage to Lebanon's means of production and infrastructure, with losses estimated in billions of Dollars. It also led to the destruction of hundreds of production units, declining national productivity, a lag in administrative and technological advances, and a halt to the regional functions of the Lebanese economy.Most important of all, (the civil and the one of July 2006) is the death of more than 250,000 civilians people and thousands of injured. Given these figures, the relation between the consequences of the war and the spread of poverty is obvious.
One of the most significant consequences of the war was hyperinflation between (1986 – 1992) and between (2005 – 2008). While expanding inflation was provoked by a series of factors, the primary cause was war: it was responsible for the segmentation of the domestic market, fragmentation of the labor market, the migration of skilled workers, a cut-back in exports, the waste of government resources, and a weakening of the state's regulatory role in the economy.
“For a man to be poor in his own country is like a stranger living in a strange land”
According to preliminary estimates based on non-statistical field research, the size of a poor family in Lebanon ranges between 6.5 and 7 members, higher than the national average, which nowadays is thought to be 5 members.
The educational level of the poor, both men and women alike, is low, since few heads of poor families have received secondary or higher education - except for civil service employees - or adequate vocational training. As for the children of poor families, a high percentage of them are enrolled in schools; however, a correspondingly high percentage drop out after a period of time. This is caused by several factors, including (a) the insufficient number of government schools in poor neighborhoods, (b) the low standards of both government as well as many private schools, (c) the low occupational and economic return of education, and (d) the constraints of higher education costs on family budgets.
The access of poor families to primary and secondary health-care facilities is limited because of their high costs, and most poor do not enjoy effective health coverage. Chronic or recurrent diseases are common, and the incidence of physical handicaps, mental retardation, or sickness-related death is higher than the national average because of the incapacity to bear treatment costs and negligence and ignorance.
Poor neighborhoods, especially in the cities, are overcrowded and suffer from random urbanization, scarcity of green spaces, and the absence of sewage systems or, where they exist, their intermixture with water supply systems which are not adequately connected to houses. These neighborhoods also suffer from a lack of, or frequent interruption of electrical power and water supply.
BETTER POLICIES NEEDED TO COMBAT POVERTY MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE ASSOCIATION IS READY TO HELP FIGHTING FOR A BETTER SITUATION FOR THE POOR
1-(M.Y.W.B.D) Willing to establish cooperative bakeries with families, (M.Y.W.B.D) will train those families and members of poor societies, also will supply these bakeries with essential row materials and will promote and take the responsibility of selling and marketing the production. In return those families will earn wages on their own work and get benefits.
2-(M.Y.W.B.D) intends to establish farming cooperatives in order to promote and sell local products such as olive oil, jams, dairy food, meat, etc… under a label and commercial name (M.Y.W.B.D) will sell those products and give the revenue to the farmers.
3-(M.Y.W.B.D) will do a joint venture with technical schools chosen in each region where necessary, providing poor students some skills and professions, such as: sewing,baking, shoe-making (cobbler work), plumbing, electricians, beauty-care, hair-dressing and styling, computer literacy, ticketing, marketing, web-design, food and beverages.
“Poverty is a merciless killer, a monster that attacks societies without permission and endeavores all its achievements” Gaby F. Yazigy
Research Written by Gaby Yazigy (GLOBE MAGAZINE G. Manager & Editor-in-Chief)
MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE ASSOCIATION
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