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Atlas of Lebanon

Part 3 - An Unbalanced Econoy: the Growth of Inequality

Part 3 - An Unbalanced Economy: the Growth of Inequality

Texte intégral

1A small country, Lebanon is characterized by a service-based economy and a level of human development that positions it between the southeastern parts of Europe and the other Near-Eastern countries. It is strongly dependent on the Arab Gulf countries, to where it exports its qualified workforce and from where it receives financial flows and investments that keep its economy running, especially its financial and banking sectors, coupled with real estate and tourism. Its balance of trade is distinctly negative: imports greatly exceed exports, which the frequent closing of the border with Syria have jeopardized, resulting in difficulties to reach the markets of the Gulf countries by road. The industrial and agricultural sectors are left aside as the promoted development model relies mostly on services, which results in entire areas of the national territory being neglected. These economic imbalances lead to rising inequality: the increase in wealth of the most affluent, who use outward-looking strategies, goes hand in hand with the impoverishment of a growing section of the population and the weakening of the middle class. The peripheral regions, including the North, are particularly affected. Despite appearances, gender equality is still the subject of an unfinished quest and gender inequality remains intertwined with disparities based on socio-economic status, nationality and citizenship.

Figure III-1: The central part of the Bekaa Valley as seen from the heights of Zahleh: mixed-used development blending residential, industrial and agricultural uses

Figure III-1: The central part of the Bekaa Valley as seen from the heights of Zahleh: mixed-used development blending residential, industrial and agricultural uses

(© Eric Verdeil, 21/10/2006)

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure III-1: The central part of the Bekaa Valley as seen from the heights of Zahleh: mixed-used development blending residential, industrial and agricultural uses
Crédits (© Eric Verdeil, 21/10/2006)
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