Indicators warn of a ‘third mass exodus’ from Lebanon: AUB Crisis Observatory

Indicators warn of a ‘third mass exodus’ from Lebanon: AUB Crisis Observatory

A report published by the Crisis Observatory of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon has concluded that the crisis-stricken country is entering a third massive wave of immigration.

“Lebanon has been witnessing a noticeable rise in the number of emigrations and those seeking them for months, putting us at the beginning of a massive wave of exodus,” the report added.

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The report added that amid the raging crises in Lebanon and their day-to-day impacts on all aspects of life, the Lebanese crisis has long-term ramifications through expected mass immigration, the implications of which are beginning to manifest.

According to the report, there are three internally alarming indicators of Lebanon’s entry into a massive wave of emigration expected to last for years.

The first indicator is the high probability of emigration among Lebanese youth, as 77 percent of them said they think about it and immigrate to it, and this percentage is the highest of any Arab country, according to the Arab Youth Opinion Survey report. last year.

The push for emigration of most Lebanese youth is a natural consequence of the decline in decent jobs, as the World Bank estimates that one in five have lost their job since the fall of 2019, and that 61 percent of companies in Lebanon have been permanent employees by an average of 43 percent.

The second indicator is the mass migration of specialists and professionals, especially male and female workers in the health sector such as doctors and nurses, and in the education sector, including university professors and teachers, in search of better working conditions and income.

The report added that the Nurses Syndicate estimates that 1,600 male and female nurses have emigrated since 2019. As well as members of the education agency, hundreds of whom immigrated to the Gulf States and North America.

At the American University of Beirut alone, 190 professors immigrating were registered in the year of departure, representing about 15 percent of the teaching body.

US-trained emergency physician Nour al-Jalbout (L) is pictured on duty in the emergency department of AUBMC (American University of Beirut Medical Center) in the Lebanese capital Beirut on March 17, 2021. (File photo: AFP)

The third indicator is the expectation that the crisis in Lebanon will become a protracted crisis.

The World Bank estimates that Lebanon will take 12 years at best to return to 2017 GDP levels, and up to 19 years at worst.

The World Bank report had stated that in the absence of a political decision seriously addressing the Lebanese crisis, which suggests a deliberate collapse, it is possible that state institutions will increasingly languish and fall into a deadly spiral that continues to grow. expands further. for two decades, which will put pressure on hundreds of thousands to leave their homeland in search of investment, work, study and retirement.

A fourth external indicator is the increasing need for labour, professionals and young groups in many of the world’s most advanced countries, which are witnessing a decline in population growth and an increase in the proportion of older people.

When all these indicators are taken into account, it can be concluded that the country will witness a major wave of immigration in the coming years.

The effects of the expected third wave of immigration will be enormous with a loss that will be difficult to compensate for the Lebanese human capital, which is the mainstay in rebuilding the state, society and the economy.

The report added that the successes of the Lebanese in the countries of the diaspora have always been material in building the story of “the good Lebanese”, but it addresses the dark side of famine, wars and destruction in their motherland.

The Observatory’s report said this “mass exodus” is the third after the first major wave in the late 1800s, extending to the World War I period (1865-1916), when an estimated 330,000 people immigrated. from Mount Lebanon at the time.

During World War I, a third of the population died of famine and disease on Mount Lebanon.  (Fouad Debbas Collection)

During World War I, a third of the population died of famine and disease on Mount Lebanon. (Fouad Debbas Collection)

The second major wave during the Lebanese Civil War between 1975 and 1990, with researcher Paul Tabr estimating the number of immigrants during that period at about 990,000 people.

A famous photo of the civil war in Lebanon.  (Provided: Khalil Dehaini)

A famous photo of the civil war in Lebanon. (Provided: Khalil Dehaini)

Mass migrations are taking place from countries in deep economic crisis, where crises are pressures for populations to leave in search of safety, security and livelihood.

The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross, intended to alleviate a serious economic crisis in Venezuela, has arrived.  (Reuters)

The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross, intended to alleviate a serious economic crisis in Venezuela, has arrived. (Reuters)

Venezuela is currently among the global displacement crises by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where the number of forced migrants as a result of the Venezuelan crisis is estimated at four million people who have been displaced to neighboring countries due to the economic and life deterioration in their country.

The same is true of Zimbabwe, where the number of immigrants to South Africa, as a result of the severe economic and housing crisis since the 1990s, is estimated at three million. Greece witnessed a major emigration due to the deep economic crisis, which reached 397,000 people in a few years between 2010 and 2013.

The Crisis Observatory at the American University of Beirut is a research initiative supervised by Dr. Nasser Yassin with the aim of studying the consequences of the various crises in Lebanon and ways to deal with them.

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