Lebanon Watch Thread

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Yuli Ban
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With Lebanon on Brink of Collapse, Israel Does What It Can to Stave Off Iranian Influence
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued an unusual statement Tuesday morning: Due to Lebanon’s severe economic crisis “and Hezbollah’s efforts to bring Iranian investments to Lebanon,” he has sent Beirut an offer of humanitarian aid through UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon.
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Yuli Ban
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Lebanon's water supply system is on the verge of total collapse, says UN
More than 71% of the country's population are at immediate risk of losing access to safe water
Lebanon's water supply system is on the verge of total collapse, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in what would mark the latest development in the eastern Mediterranean country's slide into chaos.

More than 71% of the country's population -- over 4 million people including 1 million refugees -- are at immediate risk of losing access to safe water, UNICEF said on Friday.
Water pumping is expected to gradually cease across the country in the next four to six weeks, due to shortages in funding, fuel and other supplies such as chlorine and spare parts, according to the UN agency. Rampant fuel shortages in recent weeks have seen large parts of Lebanon's economy grind to a halt.
"A loss of access to the public water supply could force households to make extremely difficult decisions regarding their basic water, sanitation and hygiene needs," said Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF's representative in Lebanon.
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caltrek
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One-year Anniversary of Beirut Blast Marked by Grief, Anger
by Erin Doherty
August 4, 2021

https://www.axios.com/beirut-blast-expl ... af6d3.html

Introduction:
(Axios) Fluctuating between feelings of sadness, grief and anger, Beirut residents on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others.

The big picture: No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, per Reuters.
  • The one-year anniversary of the explosion comes as the country endures ongoing economic and political instability.
Driving the news: An investigation into the blast has stalled as requests to probe senior politicians and former officials have been denied, per Reuters.
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Yuli Ban
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'Nothing left': in crisis-hit Lebanon bread too is scarce
Michael Hamati emerged from a long queue at a Beirut bakery sweat dripping from his forehead, as Lebanon's economic collapse sparks increasing shortages including over bread.
"There's nothing left in this country," said the 72-year-old, as dozens of people clamored behind him in the simmering heat for their turn.
Lebanese flocked to bakeries before dawn on Friday, desperate to find affordable bread in a country where fuel and medicine are already in critically short supply.
The rush came after the central bank on Wednesday said it could no longer afford to subsidize fuel in Lebanon.
The country, struggling with political turmoil since 2019, has also been hit by the worst global economic crisis in 150 years, according to the World Bank.
At least 78 percent of the more than six-million-strong population lives below the poverty line and businesses can barely stay afloat.
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Yuli Ban
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Major Lebanese hospital appeals for urgent help to save 55 patients from dying immediately due to fuel shortage
A top medical center and one of Lebanon’s oldest and most prestigious university hospitals warned on Saturday it may be forced to shut down in less than 48 hours due to fuel shortages, which would threaten the lives of its critically ill patients.

In a stark warning, the American University of Beirut Medical Center, said 55 patients dependent on respirators, including 15 children, and more than 100 people with renal failure who are on dialysis would be immediately threatened.

The somber statement underscored the severity of Lebanon’s economic crisis, which has paralyzed the country. Fuel shortages have prompted many owners of large private generators to turn off the machines.

Lebanon has for decades suffered electricity cuts, partly because of widespread corruption and mismanagement in the small Mediterranean nation of 6 million, including 1 million Syrian refugees.

The situation deteriorated dramatically this week after the central bank decided to end subsidies for fuel products — a decision that will likely lead to price hikes of almost all commodities in Lebanon, already in the throes of an unprecedented crisis, soaring poverty and hyperinflation.
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Yuli Ban
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Lebanon economic deterioration accelerates as fuel subsidy ends
Lebanon’s economic decline is set to gather pace after the central bank said this week it will end a fuel subsidy that has drained its reserves, a move that is likely to affect everything from food to clothes and basic goods.

“The price of fuel affects the price of all commodities in Lebanon,” Lebanese economic analyst Bassel Al-Khatib told Arab News. “Transportation and food will become significantly more expensive, and gasoline, diesel and cooking gas prices will at least triple if not more, paralyzing the country as all sectors will be affected.”

Lebanese economic crisis will rank as among the top three in the world in the past 150 years, according to the latest World Bank Lebanon Economic Monitor (LEM).

The country is already suffering from shortages of food, medicines, and other basic items, as well as power supply shortage due to lack in diesel supply. Stocks of liquefied petroleum gas, usually sold in canisters and used widely in homes and businesses, are also running out.

Lebanese lined up in long queues on Tuesday to stock up on cooking gas following warnings of imminent shortages, as the economic crisis eats away at supplies of basic imports.
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