Forget the world… Lebanon is facing an unprecedented crisis, and now might be the moment of truth for our country. Already, tens of thousands of people are facing hunger, and the numbers are increasing by the day. And nothing seems to be able to stop this descent into hell. Society is in turmoil more than ever, and though, according to many, it was predictable, witnessing the collapse of a whole nation and its people is horrifying. Everyone is trying to salvage themselves, or their businesses caught in free fall.
ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHERS?
Besides our internal crisis, the whole world is going through a crisis, and when the IMF started reassessing the prospect of growth for 2020-2021, they declared the world had officially entered a recession, and that in order to fight it, the magnitude of the response should be worldwide: shared responsibility and global solidarity. Because we can only be as strong as the weakest link in our interconnected world. In short, developed countries should immediately assist less developed ones. So, by extension of that idea, in Lebanon, should the privileged ones feel responsible for helping the most vulnerable ones?
PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, WHAT CAN WE DO?
At a personal lever, the people’s level, we can start by being compassionate, and as much as we can, try to avoid posting things that can create discomfort. If I go to a luxurious beach resort, the whole world does not need to know about it, especially when my world is ravaged by famine. On the other hand, even though I may heavily suffer from what is going on, I should understand that others are trying to save their businesses, and do whatever they can for that. That may imply posting about things that could be painful for me, given my situation, but to them, it means playing their last cards, maybe, not to close a business and lay off employees.
At a bigger level, maybe the IMF should apply what they preach: Lebanon is collapsing, and the damages already done are considerable. According to their analysis in such situation, Lebanon should be salvaged by international instance: resources to pull Lebanon out of the hole should be made available by the developed world, financial resources should be injected into our economy in order to stem the free fall, central banks around the world should plan a few coordinated swaps to provide the IMF with liquidity for help, debt alleviation should be a priority.
THE NEXT STEP
It all depends what type of Lebanon we want, and whom we want to be as Lebanese. Because that next step is going to determine that. So we should carefully choose our next alliances. Yes, alliances. Indeed, at this stage, Lebanon can not extract itself from such crisis without having allies. So it is about deciding if we want to go back to old alliances that made us vulnerable to crisis, or if we want to move towards a nation with a different landscape, different goals. Knowing that both choices will have consequences and repercussions. And whatever the roadmap, there will be collateral damages.