BEIRUT, Lebanon – Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has told foreign ambassadors in Lebanon that by the end of 2020 half of the Lebanese will not be able to buy food. Governmental sources told newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has asked foreign ambassadors to convey to their countries the urgent need of the Lebanese people for aid after the Corona-pandemic has exacerbated the economic crisis and living conditions. PM Hassan Diab also published an article in the Washington Post on the deteriorating economic situation and the food needs in Lebanon.
Human Rights Watch and the World Bank have also raised alerts that half of the Lebanese will not be able to purchase food at the end of the year.
Critics of the government believe that PM Diab does not tolerate any criticism, as he infringes on the powers of a number of ministers where he personally contacted the World Bank prior to the start of negotiations. And in an uncommon action, he summoned the foreign ambassadors without consulting the competent minister. He ignored the Foreign Affairs Minister and does not allow the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to play its role.
According to diplomatic sources in New York, the French ambassador to the United Nations has, since last January, been in extensive contacts with countries in order to secure foodstuffs for Lebanon. The contacts included Arab countries that responded negatively to the French calls as they point to the dominant role of Hezbollah in political decision-making.