‘Financial regime is over’: Acute economic crisis forces people to commit suicide in Lebanon


Beirut: Acute economic crisis and the inability to feed families is driving people to commit suicide in Lebanon.

In the past week alone, four people have reportedly taken the extreme step as they were unable to cope with the country’s poor economic and social situation.

As per a report on Arab News, a retired warrant officer in the Internal Security Forces died of a heart attack in a bank as he couldn’t retrieve his savings.

The prevailing economic crisis in Lebanon has forced more than 80 per cent of its population to slip into poverty, according to a report by UN.

A Beirut-based research consultancy firm called Information International shows in a study that the registered number of suicide cases in the country has gone up significantly in recent years.

The average number of suicide-related deaths between 2013 to 2022 were 143, with the highest, 179, recorded in 2019.

Mohammed Ibrahim, an employee at Sidon Palace of Justice, was found dead earlier this week as he shot himself in his hometown of Wardaniyeh. He was also the nephew of financial prosecutor Judge Ali Ibrahim.

Hussein Al-Abed Mroueh, 40, was found dead in the town of Zararia in south Lebanon. His acquaintances said that Mroueh “had constant economic and financial problems and does not work in a specific field.”

In late February, a young man reportedly killed his wife and child before he committed suicide. He was unable to pay his debts.

Economic crisis forces families to skip meals

With social assistance programs virtually unavailable, around 82 per cent of Lebanese in the poorest areas survive without electricity with many families reducing their meals.

The World Bank has placed the economic crisis in Lebanon as one of the 10 worst economic crises in the world in 19th century.

The director of CARE Lebanon Country, a global confederation working to fight poverty, said, “The war in Ukraine and the rocketing fuel prices have also made things worse, even more so as the Lebanese have lived almost without government-produced electricity for the past two years and have had to rely on private generators for lighting. The increase in the price of fuel is also a problem for hospitals and motorists in a country where a public transport network is non-existent.”

‘Financial system is over’

Lebanon’s Economy Minister earlier this month admitted that his office can do little to curb the country’s falling financial situation.

Amin Salam said, “The financial regime is over. It’s done. Now we leave the currency to its fate.”

Salam said that his department had decided to order supermarkets to display rate-to-the-dollar at which goods are priced.

The measure has been introduced to guard the rampant price manipulation as the country’s national currency continues to plummet rapidly.

“It’s not ideal, nor is it what the nation should aspire to. But in the worst of circumstances, now at least this [measure] can protect citizens — even if just by 10 per cent,” said Salam.

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‘Financial regime is over’: Acute economic crisis forces people to commit suicide in Lebanon
‘Financial regime is over’: Acute economic crisis forces people to commit suicide in Lebanon
ASE News
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