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Lebanon’s Living Conditions Threaten Security, Put Pressure On Authorities

Lebanon’s Living Conditions Threaten Security, Put Pressure On Authorities

Tuesday, 18 May, 2021 - 05:45
Two gas station employees sit next to a gas pump in Beirut, Lebanon, October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Fear mounts in Lebanon over a security breakdown in light of the increasing difficulty to obtain basic materials.

On Sunday, a young man was killed in Akkar during a dispute over the filling of gasoline. The incident prompted a member of the Syndicate of Gas Station Owners, George Bracs, to demand the authorities to provide protection to the owners of stations and their employees during their working hours.

Security sources said that it was difficult for security institutions to prevent accidents and problems arising from obtaining foodstuffs, fuel, or medicine in light of the deteriorating economic conditions. Security bodies are unable to put patrols in front of every store, pharmacy, gas station and hospital, they noted.

Lebanon’s living crisis has imposed a new security scene, as security personnel were forced to be present inside supermarkets to organize sales after a series of disputes over subsidized materials. As with foodstuffs, pharmacies saw an increasing wave of thefts, forcing owners to call for state’s protection, while some hospital workers were exposed to repeated accidents and assaults over paying a bill or finding a bed for a patient.

Member of the Parliamentary Public Health and Social Affairs Committee, MP Bilal Abdullah, said that the recent developments were the natural result of the state’s inability to deal with crises.

“The security breakdown cannot be addressed but by accelerating the formation of a government that quickly sets up a plan to rationalize support and a political and social reform project based on clear priorities,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The rate of murder and theft crimes has increased significantly in Lebanon as a result of the bad economic situation, according to a report published by Information International - an independent research and statistics company.

The report showed an increase in murders during January and February by 45.5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to data from the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces. The percentage of robbery crimes increased in the same period by 144%.

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