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Advancing Evidence-Based Policy in Crisis Management: The Case of Lebanon

Dagher, Leila and Jamali, Ibrahim and Abi Younes, Oussama (2022): Advancing Evidence-Based Policy in Crisis Management: The Case of Lebanon.

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This study offers an evidence-based assessment of the cross-sectoral effects of Lebanon’s protracted economic crisis on the employment, incomes, energy poverty, livelihood and food-based coping strategies, and attitudes towards immigration in seven economic sectors. The study’s findings are based on the field survey responses of 931 households earning a livelihood from the agriculture, construction, education, food and beverage, health, manufacturing, and retail sectors drawn from all of Lebanon’s governorates. The statistical analysis is complemented, sharpened, and enhanced using the input of high-profile experts who participated in five group Key Informant Interviews. The findings suggest that Lebanon’s economic crisis had pervasive and profound effects on the livelihoods and employment conditions of the respondents across the seven sectors. First, the findings bring to light the extreme energy burden that households face amid the severe rationing of the power supply. More than two thirds of households, across the seven sectors, spend more than 50 percent of their income on energy. The findings also uncover the harsh livelihood and food-based coping strategies that were adopted by the respondents. The bulk of households across the seven sectors have reduced the quantity of basic food staples such milk, fruits, vegetables, and bread and switched to cheaper alternatives for basic food items. In addition, with the exception of respondents from the manufacturing and food and beverage sectors, 30 percent or more of the respondents across sectors report having to skip a meal during the week, while 32.87 percent of the households across sectors are not able to afford a meal with chicken, fish or meat at least once a week.

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