Perspectives - April 23, 2021
Hezbollah Braces for the Worst in Lebanon Collapse
Hezbollah has made preparations for an all-out collapse of the fracturing state by issuing ration cards for food, importing medicine, and readying storage for fuel from its patron Iran, three sources familiar with the plans
In response to a question about Hezbollah's plans, Leila Hatoum, an adviser to the caretaker prime minister, said the country was "in no condition to refuse aid" regardless of politics.
The sources from the pro-Hezbollah camp, who declined to be named, said the plan for a potential worst-case scenario had gathered pace as an end to subsidies looms in the coming months, raising the specter of hunger and unrest.
Hezbollah's plan would help shield its communities - not only members but also mainly Shi'ite residents of districts it dominates - from the worst of the crisis, the sources said. It could also contain any restlessness among core supporters, analysts say.
Lebanese Government Risks Delaying Transfer of $246M World Bank Loan
Lebanon’s caretaker government
The World Bank loan, which the organization's Board of Directors first approved on January 12, is a direct cash assistance program for around 150,000 households living in extreme poverty, affected by the country’s economic downturn and fight against COVID-19. In a status update
The report read: “None of the effectiveness conditions have been met to date and the World Bank is working closely with the government to ensure speedy compliance with these conditions in order to proceed with project implementation.”
EU Preparing Sanctions Mechanism Against Govt Formation Obstructers
The European Union, backed by France, is
The planned EU move comes after a flurry of intensified Arab and foreign political activity in Lebanon failed to make any headway in the Cabinet deadlock, which has entered its eighth month with no solution in sight. It also comes as Lebanon’s rival leaders did not heed repeated Arab and foreign appeals, including those made by the United States, Russia and France, to agree on the speedy formation of a government of nonpartisan specialists to implement essential reforms in line with the French initiative designed to steer Lebanon out of its worst economic and financial crunch since the 1975-90 Civil War and avert a much-feared social implosion.
The failed Arab mediation attempt to resolve the Cabinet formation crisis has raised fears that France and its European partners might impose sanctions on Lebanese politicians blocking the formation of a new government to deliver reforms, rebuild Beirut after last year’s deadly port explosion, and shore up the country’s flagging economy.
The EU foreign ministers met in Brussels Monday, discussing, among other things, the Lebanese Cabinet crisis and possible punitive measures against those obstructing the government formation.
If a government is not formed, sanctions would be put in place in two stages. First, drawing up a sanctions regime for Lebanon, and second, listing the targeted names who are obstructing the cabinet formation on the sanctions list, the statement added.
Moody’s Warns Of Further Economic Decline In Lebanon
American financial services company Moody’s has
Diab Urges Qatar to Rescue Nation Facing 'Total Collapse'
Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab