What Is Happening in Lebanon?
This post is just about the latest things I have been able to find, and I will correct/update as information materializes.
Yesterday there was a terrible explosion that rocked the port of Beruit, Lebanon. Located on the city's northern Mediterranean coast, the Port of Beirut is one of the largest and busiest ports in the Eastern Mediterranean. It serves as the main entry point into the country along with the city's airport, through which much of the nation's vital supplies arrive.
The earth-shattering explosion has killed hundreds and injured thousands, causing destruction throughout the city and sending shockwaves throughout the tiny Mediterranean country already beset by multiple economic, security and health crises.
Lebanon's current government, which was unveiled in January, is made up of the pro-Iranian Shiite movement Hezbollah and its allies. Conditions for current civil upheaval were ripe in the making months and years before the current unrest unfolded and now they have been hit with this unspeakable tragedy.
Four percent of Lebanon's elite holds 80 percent of its wealth. That sector also has the means to spirit funds out of the country – which it did in mass quantities when demonstrations over national finance and political mishandling erupted in October. The "haves" essentially bankrupted the remaining 96 percent. The Central Bank's proverbial cupboards are now bare, which is why the Bank now limits withdrawal amounts, holding onto depositor funds. New rules stipulating withdrawals can only be extracted in the local pound translates into dramatic losses for account holders.
One hundred U.S. dollars wired from Dubai to Beirut, for example, drops to around a 40 dollars value when withdrawn in Lebanese pounds.
Alongside financial problems sits long-time political infighting and a nation plagued by corruption. In May of this year Germany classified Hezbollah, one of the most powerful political parties in Lebanon, as a terrorist organization, raiding offices and outlawing the group's activity in Germany.
Grappling with a steep decline in the value of the Lebanese pound, nearly half the population is now living below the poverty line and more than a third of the workforce unemployed.
The free-falling economy has sparked mass protests since October against a political class widely accused of being incompetent, corrupt and serving sectarian rather than national interests.
The government, which defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time in March, has pledged an ambitious raft of reforms and two months ago entered into bailout talks with the IMF.
However, the negotiations have stalled, with two top members of the government's own team resigning, allegedly in frustration at its lack of commitment to reform.
The government says it needs more than $20 billion in external funding, which includes $11 billion pledged by donors at a Paris conference in 2018 that was never delivered due to lack of reforms.
I think it's important to note that just the day before this blast, the Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti resigned among concerns that the government has been mishandling their current economic crisis.
This resignation comes as a protest at the government's failure to tackle a spiraling economic crisis, warning that if there is no will to reform "the ship will sink".
"I have decided to resign today as foreign minister," Hitti said in a statement, charging that the government had shown no will to initiate changes demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "I participated in the government under the logic of serving one boss, which is Lebanon," the 67-year-old veteran diplomat added. Hitti's resignation comes after France's top diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian during a visit last month scolded Lebanon's leadership for failing to move to save the country from collapse.
Now the country has been forever impacted with this tragedy upon it's people with the recent explosion. No confirmed reports have been identified as to what was the actual cause.
President Trump did elude to it being an attack yesterday, however Lebanon has pushed back against that claim. There have also been speculations made of this being a distraction for the verdict of the trial of the killing of their former Prime Minister Hariri. Soon the truth will come to light.
But right now we need to pay respects to the many lives lost and also be aware of an future impacts from this.
And with that comes into question... Well, how can we help? In times like these I urge caution to make sure you do your research before donating to any organizations. There are many that "pop up" in times of distress and do not end up helping the victims. So be sure to dig in and make sure
I have a reliable source from Qatar who linked this as a reputable source for donations, click HERE
If you are aware of more reliable donation sources please email me here: Mydomesticatedbitofchaos@gmail.com