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More depressed economic indicators and official alarm vis-à-vis Syrian displacement to Lebanon but with no solutions in sight


The General Federation of Chambers of Trade, Industry and Agriculture in Arab Countries organized yesterday in collaboration with the Rafiq Hariri University a seminar entitled “the economic implications of the influx of Syrian displaced”.  The event was held at the Adnan Kassar centre for Arab Economy and included inputs and discussions by academics and experts to review the economic implications of the displacement of Syrians amidst the absence of official procedures to regulate the displacement and mitigate its social and economic impact.
The honorary president of the Federation, former Minister Adnan Kassar, noted in his intervention that the Syrian displacement has had worrying implications on the overall financial situation, the health and education sectors and the infrastructure of public services.  This, according to Kassar, is likely to increase the budgetary deficit by at least an additional 6%.  Kassar also pointed out to the 2.9% yearly drop in economic growth between 2011 and 2014 according to the World Bank which is likely to increase unemployment beyond 20% and thus push some 170,000 individuals to join the ranks of 1 million Lebanese living below the poverty line.
Dr. Riad Chedid, the President of the Rafiq Hariri university noted that the purpose of highlighting the economic implications of the Syrian displacement is not intend to stir ill feelings as providing aid to the displaced is a duty but rather to ensure the adoption of a clear plan which takes into consideration the situation of the state.  For his part, the Minister of Public Health, Wael Abou Faour, alarming noted that the Syrian displacement is one of the most dangerous challenges facing the state and the Lebanese.  He added that despite repeated calls about the implications of this displacement, the state has yet to take any measures to address or mitigate the results of this displacement.
Source: Al-Safir, Al-Nahar 13 May 2014

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