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  • Sunday, December 24, 2023 at 6:36 AM
    Last Update : Sunday, December 24, 2023 at 6:36 AM

Lebanon Could Face Dire Social and Economic Consequences Due to The War in Gaza, UNDP Says

(AWP) - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has warned of dire economic, environmental and social consequences for Lebanon due to the Israeli war in Gaza, which continues for the 75th consecutive day.

According to an UNDP report, the Lebanese tourism, service and agricultural sectors are affected the most, with severe impacts on livelihoods and the local economy in the border areas of southern Lebanon.

"This war in Gaza comes at a time when the economies of the region, including the Lebanese economy, are fragile. They have barely begun to emerge from the Corona crisis, and in Lebanon, to emerge from the economic crisis and the [Beirut] port explosion, among other issues,” said Abdallah al-Dardari, UNDP Regional Director for Arab States.

“Just as the Lebanese economy started on the path to recovery, this war came to thwart it,” he added.
The UNDP demanded an immediate end to the war in order to save what is left of the faltering economies of the Arab region, and to spare them billions of dollars of losses.

The programme stated that the continuation of the war in Gaza for another three months would lead to a loss of 20 billion US dollars in gross domestic product in the countries of the region, and that these losses would double if the conflict expands.

The programme indicated that the exchange of missile shelling and gunfire in southern Lebanon has caused significant environmental damage, posing a long-term threat to human life and natural resources.

According to the UNDP report, the Lebanese agricultural sector has suffered massive losses due to Israel’s deployment of white phosphorus, which causes soil damage, chemical pollution, and loss of soil fertility due to traces of ordinance left in the ground.

"There are many problems at the environmental level, especially as a result of the bombing with white phosphorus, which results in damage to the soil, air and water. Any piece of white phosphorus that reaches the ground leads to very large fires, and from here we see damage to crops, as well as the burning of thousands of olive trees and old oaks, pines and other trees,” said Mounir Kablan, a journalist and environmental activist.

The UNDP also noted that more than 90 villages in southern Lebanon have been subjected to more than 1700 attacks, leading to the displacement of 64,000 people, the death and injury of many others, and severe damage to property and to the economy.