Multiple Crises in Lebanon
September 3, 2021
While recently all eyes have been on Afghanistan, since 2019 Lebanon has been experiencing a series of inter-related crises. In addition to experiencing the effects of the current global COVID-19 crisis, a financial crisis that had been building for years finally culminated in 2019 in the collapse of the Lebanese pound, exacerbated by the explosion in Beirut, and civil unrest in part set off by a tax on WhatsApp calls - the final straw for a populace that were frustrated with a system that favoured the rich. An energy crisis has also gripped the country, with a heavy fuel shortage for power plants resulting in daily blackouts in much of Lebanon, and recent deaths from motorists clashing over access to fuel.
And now Lebanon is running out of water. An estimated 70% of the population of Lebanon including a million refugees from Syria are in imminent danger of losing access to safe water, possibly within days. This will compound the shortage of food and medicine and basic necessities already in effect due to the economic crisis. The only industry in Lebanon experiencing gains is alternative energy in the form of Solar Panels, as more well-off citizens and companies seek alternative power sources.
How Does This Affect The World?
According to the World Bank, the economic and financial crisis is likely to rank in the top 10, possibly top 3, most severe crises episodes globally since the mid-1800’s. The World Bank warns: “The dire socio-economic conditions risk systemic national failings with regional and potentially global consequences”.
In a 2017 Gallup survey of more than 1,000 investors, 75 percent of respondents expressed worries about the economic impact of the various military and diplomatic conflicts happening around the world, ranking geopolitical risk ahead of political and economic uncertainty.
How Can You Mitigate Geopolitical Risk?
There can be international political, economic and social ramifications to unrest between and within states. Intelligence teams and aid organizations need to know how and where an event or crisis is occurring, and how to allocate resources in response. Real-time social data, combined with information gleaned from more traditional sources, can help provide context.
Leveraging real-time social data from myriad online discussion channels via the Echosec Systems API can help you be better informed, and mitigate the impact of global situations on your people, your country, or your organization.