Lebanon at a critical conjuncture - Perspectives of Syrians and Lebanese in Lebanon 2019-2021
21 Pages Posted: 18 May 2021
Date Written: May 14, 2021
Lebanon provides an ideal case to study migration dynamics in the Middle East because it encapsulates several features of the region with its high degree of mobility of people, ideas and capital. For multiple overlapping crises and a de facto collapse of its economy, Lebanon is facing extremely challenging and turbulent times. In the TRANSMIT research project, we collected rich survey data on the situation of Syrians and Lebanese in Lebanon in 2019, 2020 and 2021. With the baseline data in Lebanon collected at the eve of the October revolution in 2019, we can document a sharp increase in poverty that has reached alarming levels: describing the economic situation of their household, at the end of 2020, 40% of households in our sample report that “money is not enough to buy food”. Another 20% report that they can afford food but not afford other basics. Poverty figures are higher among Syrians compared to Lebanese. Over the past couple of years, there has been a massive discontent with the political elite and demands for fundamental changes, yet our data show widespread uncertainty about the realization of these demands as well as fears of a new armed conflict. At the same time, the current migration potential among those who are still residing in Lebanon is very limited.
Keywords: Lebanon, political crisis, migration, integration
JEL Classification: D60,I31, J60,O10
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