Essay on Lebanon and its main problems

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Lebanon

Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country that is delimitated to the west by the Mediterranean and to the east by the Syro-African Depression. Lebanon borders Syria to the north and to the east, and Israel in the south.

Lebanon’s climate is “Mediterranean”; mild to cool, wet winters, and hot, dry summers.
Some of Lebanon’s natural resources are the limestone, salt, water and iron ore. Like any other country there are natural hazards such as dust storms and sandstorms.

[ Population pressures: growth, urbanization, immigration.

Lebanon’s population consists of 3, 777, 218 (this data is from July, 2004)
Age structure: ~ 0-14 years: 26.9% (male 517,356; female 496,888)
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Due to civil war, Lebanon’s economy was highly affected, for instance central government institutions disintegrated. Therefore the estate was handicapped, and accumulated several debts, for example by 2001 Lebanon had reached $28 billion, or nearly 150% of GDP.
As a matter of fact, economic performance was sluggish in 2000 and 2001 and there was no growth in 2000.

Lebanon’s current program of reforms focuses on three main aspects:

- Economic restoration and “sustainable growth”
- “Fiscal consolidation and structural improvement in public sector finances
- Monetary, financial, and price stability”

The Lebanese pound is firmly pegged to the American dollar since September 1999. Furthermore Lebanese currency has “undetermined competitiveness, with merchandise exports falling from 23% of GDP in 1989 to 4% in 2000”.
In 2002, the Lebanese government increased gasoline taxes, reduced expenditures, and approved a “value-added-tax”; all of these became effective in February 2002.
In Lebanon is it hard to finance the government because of the slow money growth and dollarization, which results in a burden to the ‘Central Bank’. Some of the measurements that the government has put primary emphasis on privatization are: the telecom sector and electricity, Beirut port, and water utilities. Lebanon’s is U.S’ fourth largest source of imported goods; the U.S has more than
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