Lebanon’s political corruption can be rooted out – if its international donors insist | Lina Khatib | The Guardian

Change must come from within Lebanon, but Emmanuel Macron and others can help by ending their patronage of a disastrous regimeIn the aftermath of the devastating Beirut port explosion last week, it is not just the role of the Lebanese political class that has come under scrutiny, but that of their international peers too. Sunday’s international donor conference led by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, raised €253m (£228m) in relief funds, but it also signalled an important change in rhetoric. For the first time, donors affirmed that relief funds would directly go to the Lebanese people, and that longer-term economic assistance would be dependent on Lebanon implementing structural reforms.This affirmation came hot on the heels of growing international attention on rampant corruption among Lebanon’s ruling political class, which is widely blamed for the port explosion. It sends the message to Lebanon’s rulers that, while their country desperately needs foreign assistance to stand on its feet, no one can help Lebanon if it does not also help itself. But the communique issued following the conference glossed over the international community’s own role in sustaining Lebanon’s corrupt political class over a period of decades. At the aid conference, Macron said that Lebanon’s future is at stake. What donors need to recognise is that this future is a shared responsibility for them and Lebanon’s leaders alike. Continue reading…

Change must come from within Lebanon, but Emmanuel Macron and others can help by ending their patronage of a disastrous regime

In the aftermath of the devastating Beirut port explosion last week, it is not just the role of the Lebanese political class that has come under scrutiny, but that of their international peers too. Sunday’s international donor conference led by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, raised €253m (£228m) in relief funds, but it also signalled an important change in rhetoric. For the first time, donors affirmed that relief funds would directly go to the Lebanese people, and that longer-term economic assistance would be dependent on Lebanon implementing structural reforms.

This affirmation came hot on the heels of growing international attention on rampant corruption among Lebanon’s ruling political class, which is widely blamed for the port explosion. It sends the message to Lebanon’s rulers that, while their country desperately needs foreign assistance to stand on its feet, no one can help Lebanon if it does not also help itself. But the communique issued following the conference glossed over the international community’s own role in sustaining Lebanon’s corrupt political class over a period of decades. At the aid conference, Macron said that Lebanon’s future is at stake. What donors need to recognise is that this future is a shared responsibility for them and Lebanon’s leaders alike.

Continue reading…


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