In the dynamic world of economics, trade balances play a pivotal role in determining a country’s financial health. This visualization offers a clear and concise representation of Lebanon’s trade situation over the recent years, focusing on the comparison between the exports and imports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP.
Lebanon, a country with a rich trading history, has faced various economic challenges exacerbated by political instability and global market fluctuations. Understanding the trade trends is crucial for policy-makers, businesses, and academicians to assess the country’s economic resilience and to strategize for future growth.
These pie charts are a visual summary of the economic challenges faced by Lebanon in terms of trade. They underscore the need for strategic planning and diversified economic reform to build a more balanced and self-sufficient economic structure.
In 2019, the pie chart illustrates that imports considerably outweighed exports, indicating a trade deficit. This imbalance suggests that the country was consuming more than it was producing for external markets.
2020 shows a slight shift with the reduction in imports and a marginal increase in exports. This change could be indicative of various factors, such as a change in economic policy, a response to external economic pressures, or the impact of the global events of that year, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
By 2021, the gap between imports and exports continues to persist, although there’s a noticeable improvement in the trade balance, with exports comprising a larger section of the pie.
Lebanon is grappling with a trade deficit.
1- Diversification of Exports: Investing in diverse sectors to increase the range of goods and services for export.
2- Improving Domestic Production: Enhancing the quality and quantity of domestic production to reduce reliance on imports.
3- Trade Agreements: Entering into new trade agreements that favor Lebanese exports or revising existing ones to improve trade terms.
After working on these strategies developing these ideas, and through careful analysis and responsive policymaking, Lebanon can work towards a future where its exports and imports are in a healthier balance.
The history of women’s empowerment in the United Arab Emirates’ social progress is framed by declining fertility rates and a concerted attempt to incorporate women into the workforce. In the midst of this fascinating journey, where the fertility rate has gradually dropped from 4.54% in 1990 to a measured 1.46% in 2021, the United Arab Emirates is at a turning point in its history, overcoming both obstacles and successes as it works toward a future characterized by demographic transitions.
In the face of economic fluctuations, exemplified by a decline in GDP from $417 billion in 2019 to $349 billion in 2020 before peaking at $508B in 2023, UAE remains steadfast in its commitment to stability. This commitment is reflected in the deliberate strides towards gender equality within the workplace, transforming a historical landscape of imbalance. Political leadership, once devoid of female representation at 0% in 1997, has evolved to an inspiring 50% in 2022. Similarly, management roles have seen growth from a modest 12.20% in 2017 to a commendable 23.6% in 2021, portraying a nation charting new territories with determination. Moreover, as shown in the heat map, female percentage of 6.31% among the total female employed population, compared to a male percentage of 4.92% among the total male employed population, the overall self-employment rate stands at 5.15%. This signifies that, in the realm of self-employment, women play a more substantial role, surpassing their male counterparts and collectively making a significant impact on the overall self-employed landscape in the UAE.
To address the challenges faced, a multifaceted approach is recommended. Firstly, actively promoting women’s participation in politics has proven to be transformative, exemplified by successful models achieving 50% female representation in national parliaments. Additionally, supporting and fostering women’s career advancement is crucial, evident in the rising trend of increased female presence in senior and middle management roles. Furthermore, it’s vital to prioritize maintaining healthy fertility rates. This can be achieved through the implementation of comprehensive family-friendly policies, encompassing affordable childcare, flexible work arrangements, and robust support for parental leave. Low fertility rates, prevalent in Western countries, pose significant concerns, and safeguarding against this trend is crucial, especially in the context of an Arab country like the UAE.
This complex journey has not been without its achievements. The increased representation of women in parliamentary roles and senior management positions serves as evidence of the UAE’s holistic approach to women’s empowerment. These accomplishments underscore the significance of an unwavering dedication to gender-inclusive policies, showcasing the nation’s commitment to ensuring continual progress. As the UAE confidently embraces change, it invites the world to witness a seamless blend of demographic adaptability and a resolute embrace of women’s empowerment, illustrating a nation shaping its future with foresight and purpose.
Team: Ibrahim Al Jaifi, Zahraa Jassar, Rami Haidar, Ali Hachem, Rim Zeaiter, Fatima Ayoub
“ We don’t go to school; we work in the daytime to support our families and spend the rest of our day playing in the streets.”
Said Omar and Yazan, two inspiring kids in Burj Al Barajneh, a refugee camp in the suburbs of Beirut. Under 10 years old, both already carrying the responsibility of working to provide for their families instead of being enrolled in education.
According to ILO, it is estimated that 160 million children are involved in child labor, 79 million of which are in Hazardous Work that is likely to harm children’s health, safety or morals. All these children, including young Omar and Yazan, are at an age when they are supposed to be provided for, educated and protected. Having to spend most of their time working in jobs that are unsafe and exhausting, their chances of leading healthy and thriving lives diminish with each dollar they earn.
Child Labor in Lebanon
The emergence of the Lebanese economic crisis in 2019 brought with it an increase in percentage of families with children engaged in child labor from 29% to 38% between 2019 and 2021 according to IRC.
GDP, as an indicator of the economic performance of a country, noticed a 65% decrease from $52B to $18B during the period of 2019 to 2021. With this drastic drop in GDP, the unemployment rate rose from 11% to 15% while the CPI more than doubled, leaving thousands of families under the poverty line with no sources of income.
With these dramatic and sudden changes in the economic situation, 3 out of 5 children in Lebanon dropped-out of school and most of the rest switched to public education. Education has become less of a priority for both the government and families.
From a social perspective, 44% of parents who have taken part in a study by the World Vision Organization believed that involving their children in paid labor enhances their life skills and assures a source of income for their households. Meanwhile, the responsible government agencies have no clear and applicable laws in place to prohibit children’s exploitation or ensure they are enrolled in education.
Child labor has destructive impacts on the health of the child, exposing millions of children to physical, mental and emotional abuse. As a result, their mental and intellectual development face significant disruptions. Considering the increasing crime rates in the country and the exposure of children to illegal work activities, the forecasted 30% increase in crime rate in 2025 would involve criminal acts by juveniles.
Mr. Aws Al Kadasi, senior research analyst at Merci Corps, commented on the topic during an interview for this project:
“According to the UNICEF, one in 5 children in the least developed countries are engaged in child labor. A problem that was aggravated by COVID-19 and global economic decline that it takes a walk in Beirut to believe these numbers. Children require different systems of protection that starts with parents and extends to every office, business, institution, organization and agency, local and international, governmental or otherwise. Everyone, who is not a child, is responsible”
Both 8 and 16 Sustainable Development Goals highlights the need for international efforts to tackle the issue of child labor:
Target 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms.
Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
Inspired by these goals as well as social responsibility towards the community, our project team designed an initiative to capitalize on the work of international aid organizations and local organizations and projects working to fight child labor and illiteracy.
F4K APP (Click to view)
Future4Kids (F4K) initiative aims to establish a cooperative relationship between NGOs that provides cash assistance to families and campaigns against child labor. F4K initiative will work on partnering with cash aid organizations and NGOs working in child education. Receiving cash assistance would be conditionally linked to the enrollment of beneficiaries’ children in education with families being required to show evidence of child enrollment in education periodically.
The initiative platform will allow these two parties to join efforts to encourage families to enroll their children in education. F4K platform will also allow for receiving public donations for child education campaigns carried out by our partners.
Authors: Tala Abdul Samad, Nour Al Bidewe, Basman Hariri, Sara Sadaka, Aziz Saliby, Jean-Pierre Sakr
Over the past two years, Lebanon has been witnessing compounded crises such as brain drain, poverty, unemployment, and inequality. On October 3rd, we wanted to listen to the factors that affected the Lebanese the most. Borhan, a 60-year-old man living in Beirut, was one of the people we met. We captured a video with him to show the suffering of the Lebanese since the start of the crisis where he comprehensively described the severe living conditions. As we all know, 2019 was a year of transformation for Lebanon, beginning with the October 17th revolution in 2019, following the global pandemic in 2020, and the rise of inflation. Borhan expressed the feelings of most Lebanese, where he identified the problems that we are facing as residents. Many people mentioned that specific sectors have been hit the most, therefore we would like to perform exploratory data analysis and surveys using different datasets to be able to identify inequalities. We are also interested in using a data-driven approach to identify gaps and inequalities that exist in the education, income, and health sectors.
As a result, we have exploited the World Bank’s World Development Indicators and we have identified several indicators which we have used as proxies to measure multidimensional poverty in Lebanon. We chose to have a topic related to the multidimensional poverty index in Lebanon compared to the Arab region. Since the multidimensional poverty index is calculated using three different dimensions, namely education, living conditions, and health, we decided to divide the three different dimensions among us.
Housing is a significant indicator of the multidimensional poverty (MDP), and based on ESCWA calculations, the main indicators to assume whether housing is counted as depreciation for a household or not are ‘Overcrowding rate’ – the percentage of the population living in an overcrowded household – ‘Housing type’ i.e. houses, apartments, row houses, townhouses and duplexes, ‘Sanitation quality’ – availability of handwashing facilities, toilet cleanliness.
Historical data related to housing utilities in Lebanon was gathered from the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), which contains significant indicators to measure MDP such as water, electricity, gas, actual rent, furnishings, household equipment and routine household, and others. Data is shown monthly from December 2007 till September 2022.
This data reported many indicators highlighting the increase in poverty on multiple sides. It is worth reporting that the consumer price index (CPI) Housing Utilities in Lebanon records the highest score this September 2022 (363.3) compared to October 2021 (215.9).
Looking at the nutrition level, food inflation was detected as the cost is more skewed to the right for the year 2021-2022; rising food prices reduce the purchasing power of food consumers. Another devaluation could be mentioned in the transportation sector, as the transportation sub-index of the CPI basket in Lebanon increased by 2339 points in September of 2022 (3,725), compared to August 2021 (1,386); the cost of transportation is significantly increasing, resulting in a limitation to access in the transportation sector.
It is worth mentioning that the CPI in Lebanon has more than doubled over the past year, peaking this September 2022 at a score of 1,611.4 against 714.8 in October 2021, and a higher CPI indicates higher inflation. This eventually leads to adjustments in the cost of living and income, which tends to worsen inequality or poverty as it hits income and savings harder for poorer or middle-income households than for wealthy households.
As stated by Joao Martins, MSF Head of Mission in Lebanon, “The crisis in Lebanon has been driven by years of corruption and now we are seeing that this can contribute to the destruction of an entire health system just as effectively as war or a natural disaster”. As a result, it is important to conduct a deep dive analysis on the healthcare system in Lebanon which is a dimension that measures multidimensional poverty.
First we will look at the current health expenditure (%of GDP) which takes into account the public and private health expenditure. By comparing Lebanon to the Arab World, we can notice that the current health expenditure is higher along the mid 2000 with Lebanon having 11% in 2000 while the Arab World having 4%. After that, Lebanon witnessed a decrease and the Arab World an increase reaching a value of 9% and 5%, respectively. The decrease in the expenditure in Lebanon has negatively affected the healthcare system as medication and vaccines are becoming scarce. Looking more closely, we can see in the next graph that the access to immunization has tremendously decreased in Lebanon. On average the access to vaccines (such as DPT, HepB3, and measles) has decreased from 83% (2000) to 67% (2021).
On another hand, we evaluated the demand for private insurance in Lebanon. As we can see, the demand has decreased from 70% (2000) to 45% (2021). This decrease is due to all private insurance companies converting their payment method to fresh U.S. dollars and since the NSSF benefits have diminished due to the economic crisis, most Lebanese people are now left with no proper access to health assistance.
We also conducted a survey on school and university students to analyze access to online education during the COVID-19 pandemic which was also identified as the new normal.
You can be part of our project by filling this online survey. Your answers are highly valuable to the development of our dashboard since the larger the sample size, the more accurate our results would be.
At a later stage, we would like to present our results to our target audience which are UN agencies, local NGOs, and Lebanese ministries. We got a total of 135 responses from all over Lebanon where the survey was populated via social media platforms. The majority of the respondents were university students or graduates. Most of them were unemployed or employed in a full time position.
We asked the respondents about their evaluation to their online experience; the answers rated their experience as poor or fair. On a scale from 1 being a very bad experience and 5 being a very good experience, most of the respondents rated the effectiveness of online learning as 3. In addition, we asked about the preferred type of education; the majority answered the traditional physical method as the most preferred following the hybrid method as second preferred. These answers make us conclude that the online learning experience was not that good in Lebanon. This might be due to the lack of training from the government and the teachers.
To further explore the facilities that were available to ease the online learning experience, we asked the people about their access to devices, electricity and internet. For the devices, the majority had access to devices that were mainly Mobile phones or laptops. Most of the respondents have access to electricity but not all the time while almost all the respondents have access to internet but the variance changed between access all the time and access but not all the time. Most of the respondents reflected that they couldn’t focus and they weren’t serious about their studies during online learning. Furthermore, on a scale from 1 being not at all to 5 being for sure, we asked the people about their willingness to retake the online experience. The answers varied between 1 and 2 mainly.
Finally, we asked the people about the disadvantages of online learning. Some of the responses include poor network, electricity cuttage, procrastination, weak communication, lack of motivation to study, more distraction, professors are not equipped with the resources, challenging experience for both students and professors. From this survey, we can conclude that Lebanon wasn’t prepared well for such a situation, especially its basic infrastructure which includes bad electricity and network services.
Contributor: Mazen Eid
” I AM ON OILS ” the funniest statement I ever heard for the first time in my life. The story goes back to 2016 when I was visiting my cousins in the US, I was feeling a bit unwell post my trip from New York due to change of weather. My first request to my cousin was, do you have Panadol? I was literally bashed with a reply, you guys still take pills? We are living on oils! The answer intrigued my attention to know more about the oils. How are they consumed? Who produces such oils? All these questions came to my mind at once. I had my share of the oils and next day I woke up fine as if nothing happened. It was my first time trying essential oils on myself and discovering how effective they are on our health. My journey started that day to explore the world of essential oils and its benefits.In 2018, I became Dōterra Wellness Advocate after taking a full course on essential oils. Dōterra is the leading company in the United States that produces essential oils.My passion for essential oils grew as it became part of my daily lifestyle, It introduced me to the world of wellness and a healthy living. Dōterra in latin means ” Gift from Earth “.
The origins of essential oils date back at least a thousand years, and have been used for medicinal purposes for at least as long. Essential oils are concentrated oils derived from plants that are described as containing “the essence” of the plant. Essential oil can be derived from nearly any plant matter imaginable, from flowers to tree bark. Today, essential oils are used less for medical purposes and more for aromatherapy, skincare, and alternative healing practices.
Let’s talk about numbers, the global market value of essential oils grew dramatically from 17.36 Billion USD in 2017 to forecast of 27.49 Billion USD in 2022 (source: statista.com). That’s an increase of 58% within a period of five years only. The top producers worldwide of essential oils are China followed by India and Indonesia.The global impact of COVID-19 has been significant, with essential oils witnessing a positive effect on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. COVID-19 boosted the demand for oils across the aromatherapy and personal care industry.
Why would you inject chemicals in your body when you know that nature is the cure? With the booming of essential oil markets, we also witness a solid war backed up by the FDA against essential oil companies as they are taking a big share of the market. Every year, thousands of lawsuits are filed accusing Essential Oils companies of misleading information to consumers. However, people are becoming more aware and listening to their bodies, and this is evident as consumers’ consumption oils increased dramatically over time. The global aromatherapy market size was estimated at USD 27.49 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% from 2022 to 2028. Awareness is needed within our societies to educate and encourage people to return to Mother Nature. Our bodies are sacred and we need to respect that!
THE GREATEST MEDICINE OF ALL IS TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW NOT TO NEED IT!
The below tableau workbook will give you insights on the drug and essential oils industry with global statistics covering topics such as production, consumption, sales and top essential oils companies.