Blog Action Day: Poverty in Lebanon

Adapted from “Poverty, Growth, and Income Distribution in Lebanon,” a 2008 country study from the International Poverty Centre
  • Nearly 8 percent of the Lebanese population live under conditions of extreme poverty (i.e., below the ‘lower’ poverty line) (Figure 2). This implies that almost 300,000 individuals in Lebanon are unable to meet their most basic food and non-food needs. The dollar equivalent of the lower poverty line (when converted at the current official exchange rate) is US$ 2.40 per capita per day.
  • With a more ‘normal’ definition of the poverty line, namely, what the World Bank refers to as the ‘upper’ poverty line, the overall headcount poverty ratio reaches 28.5 percent (accounting for about 1 million Lebanese). At the current exchange rate, the upper poverty line translates into about US$ 4 per capita per day.
  • The report estimates that it would cost only US$12 per Lebanese resident per year to lift all poor individuals out of extreme poverty.
  • A very low prevalence of extreme poverty (below 1 percent) and overall poverty (below 6 percent) in Beirut;
  • A low prevalence of extreme poverty (2–4 percent) and a below-average prevalence of overall poverty (close to 20 percent) in Nabatieh and Mount Lebanon;
  • A higher-than-average prevalence of extreme poverty in Bekaa and the South (10–12percent), an average prevalence of overall poverty in Bekaa (29 percent) and a higher-than-average prevalence of overall poverty in the South (42 percent).
  • A very high prevalence of extreme and overall poverty in the North (18 percent and 53 percent, respectively).
  • Although per capita consumption in Nabatieh is very close to the national average, it is more equally distributed than in other regions so that the governorate’s overall poverty rate, i.e., 19 percent, is far below the national average.
  • The North has 20.7 percent of Lebanon’s population, but 46 percent of the extremely poor population and 38 percent of the entire poor population.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *