Last week, Lebanon declared a state of economic emergency. Upon first glance, this could be mistaken for a state of emergency, but a state of economic emergency, as Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema explains it, allows a government to implement economic emergency measures. Per the Associated Press, Lebanon has one of the highest public debts in the world. The country is hurting.
“Because of the Syrian refugee crisis, and the economic impact that’s having on the country, [Lebanon] has been on the verge of bankruptcy. And this is just one more step in that process. The Prime Minister, [a] couple [of] weeks back, was in the United States. He’s been all over asking the other nations to help them financially help take care of this crisis, and nobody is,” Atema says.
In other words, Lebanon is running out of money—fast. The country’s budget deficit is 11 percent of the gross domestic product. In 2020, Lebanon hopes to reduce the budget deficit to 6.5 percent. However, it is unclear what economic emergency measures will prevent bankruptcy. But one thing is certain: an increase in austerity measures.
The silver lining?
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Bethann Flynn