Support for Hezbollah in Lebanon Might be Waning, But it Still Has Chance to Fill Government Void

Middle East

The Shiite militia has been actively involved in Lebanon’s welfare and social services, as well as other institutions. It has even recently started to import food and medications in a bid to assist the poor and gain their support.

The Lebanese Parliament will start consultations to choose a new prime minister on 26 July in yet another attempt to steer the country through its economic meltdown.

Fed up with the System

But Ali Yehiya, a Beirut-based political expert, says the Lebanese public has long lost its trust in the system.

Although Lebanon’s economic situation has never really been stable, recent years have witnessed a serious deterioration.

Unemployment in Lebanon increased from 18.5% in 2018 to 36.9% in 2020, and is expected to reach 41.4% by the end of this year.

In parallel, inflation rates continue to soar, while the value of the Lebanese pound continues to fall. Minimum wage went down from $400 in 2018 to the equivalent of $30 in 2021, pushing more than half of the Lebanese people to the brink of poverty.

Roots of the Problem Run Deep

Part of the problem was the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that sent tens of thousands of employees home. Another problem was the deadly Beirut blast of August 2020 that caused unprecedented damage to one of Lebanon’s main ports, shuttering its already fragile economy. But Yahiya says the fiscal issues started long before 2020.

In 2016, Saudi Arabia cut its…

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