Lebanon Has Highest Cost of Living, Worst Quality of Life

07 July 2022, Lebanon, Beirut: A Lebanese activist gestures during a protest against the current economic situation of the country in front of Lebanon Central Bank. (dpa)
07 July 2022, Lebanon, Beirut: A Lebanese activist gestures during a protest against the current economic situation of the country in front of Lebanon Central Bank. (dpa)
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Lebanon Has Highest Cost of Living, Worst Quality of Life

07 July 2022, Lebanon, Beirut: A Lebanese activist gestures during a protest against the current economic situation of the country in front of Lebanon Central Bank. (dpa)
07 July 2022, Lebanon, Beirut: A Lebanese activist gestures during a protest against the current economic situation of the country in front of Lebanon Central Bank. (dpa)

Beirut ranked 242nd out of 248 cities around the world for the “worst” quality of life, according to a recent international report.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese capital topped the region in the highest cost of living among Arab cities, ranking 12th globally and approaching New York City, which is adopted as a reference indicator for measurement.

The Lebanese people are stifled by the sharp imbalance between shrinking incomes - as salaries are still paid at the official dollar rate of LBP 1,500, while the local currency on the black market touches LPB 30,000 to the dollar - and skyrocketing inflation, which topped 1,000 percent.

The situation has pushed about 80 percent of the population below the poverty line, according to reports by the United Nations office, the World Bank, UNICEF and many international financial institutions.

Moreover, the basics of a decent life are almost completely absent, including electricity, water, health coverage and others, in addition to the paralysis of all government services due to the open strike carried out by public administration employees who are demanding a pay hike.

A report by the International Numbeo Institute for Statistics found that Beirut is the most expensive Arab city compared to prices in New York City.

Doha, for example, came second in the cost of living index regionally and ranked 225th globally, with a score of 60.91 points, while Abu Dhabi ranked third in the region and 261st globally, with a score of 56.13 percentage points.

The result looks tragic when examining the components of the index, specifically the purchasing power of the population in Beirut, which declined from 47.18 points (before the end of 2019) to reach only 11.73 points in 2022, which is 88.27 percent lower than the purchasing power in New York City.

The same applies to the prices of goods, which scored 109.65 points in the approved index, meaning that the prices in Beirut are 9.65 percent higher than those recorded in the American city.

Beirut ranked last among Arab cities and 242nd in a list of 248 cities in the world included in the measurement of the quality of life index issued by Numbeo for mid-2022.

The results are drawn according to eight main indicators that measure the level of quality of life. They include the purchasing power index, the safety index, healthcare, and cost of living, the ratio of house price to income that reflects the affordability of housing, the traffic or travel time index, the pollution index, as well as the climate index.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.