Lebanon’s presidential vacuum signals more problems to come

By November 11, 2022

Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanese President Michel Aoun ended his term last week, but Parliament has yet to pick a replacement. Some fear the power vacuum could delay promised help from the International Monetary Fund.

Wissam Nasrallah with the Society for Education and Social Development (LSESD) says, “While we’ve had vacancies in the presidency before, this is the first time the government is not empowered to take decisions, as it is a caretaker government. Most likely, we’re going to face a prolonged power vacuum.”

“This country is going through hyperinflation, massive devaluation of the currency, and an exodus of people.”

Lebanese have mixed feelings about Aoun, a Maronite Christian. Some saw him as a defender of the Christian community. Others criticized him for participating in the 1975-1990 civil war in Lebanon.

Nasrallah says, “His presidency was marked by a lot of turmoil and changes in the country. Lebanon is going through an unprecedented crisis. He’s not the only one to blame for that.”

Lebanon’s future

Nasrallah expects even more people to leave Lebanon in the coming months. Nasrallah says, “If you want to be optimistic, we might say some of some people could return when things get better. But many of those leaving are fleeing despair and leaving the country with a lot of hurts. I’m not too optimistic about a lot of them coming back.”

The more that leave, the harder it will be to rebuild Lebanon’s economy in the future.

LSESD provides education for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. Nasrallah says, “Especially within the relief and development arm, MERATH, we have about eight informal education centers throughout the country that cater mainly to Syrian refugee children. These programs are operated through the local church.”

In a situation that seems hopeless, pray the care of Lebanese Christians will point to Jesus.

To support LSESD’s work, visit mebo.org.

 

 

The header photo shows kids at Beirut Baptist School, run by LSESD. (Photo courtesy of LSESD on Facebook)