LEBANON - Worst Financial Crisis Since 1850s

Arno Froese

Lebanon’s economic collapse is likely to rank among the world’s worst financial crises since the mid-19th century, the World Bank said in a damning report.

Lebanon defaulted on its debt last year, the currency lost around 85% of its value, and poverty is devastating a country once seen as a beacon of prosperity in the region.

The complete meltdown of Lebanon’s economy during the past 18 months is widely blamed on corruption and mismanagement by the country’s hereditary political elite.

Lebanon’s ruling class has failed to act on the country’s worst emergency in a generation, which was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and a devastating explosion at Beirut port last August.

“Subject to extraordinarily high uncertainty, real GDP is projected to contract by a further 9.5% in 2021,” said the World Bank, dashing any hopes of a quick recovery.

“The sharp deterioration in basic services would have long-term implications: mass migration, loss of learning, poor health outcomes, lack of adequate safety nets, among others,” the report said.

“Permanent damage to human capital would be very hard to recover,” said the World Bank Lebanon Economic Monitor, whose previous report was entitled “The Deliberate Depression.”

“Perhaps this dimension of the Lebanese crisis makes the Lebanon episode unique compared to other global crises,” it said.

-www.timesofisrael.com, 1 June 2021

Arno's Commentary

Not too long ago, Lebanon was considered the Switzerland of the Middle East. Peace and prosperity were the accepted norm for its citizens. That, however, is no longer the case. Lebanon is in turmoil today.

Over 3,000 years ago, Lebanon was a friend of Israel. First Kings 5:9-10 reports: “My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household. So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.”

With the return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land, things have changed drastically. Lebanon has failed to reign in Hezbollah, a religious political party that a number of countries recognize as a terrorist organization. But there is more; much of Lebanon—and such is also the case with Syria—is Arab-occupied Israeli territory. Subsequently, chaos and terror are not surprising.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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