Lebanese President Hails Country’s Swift Measures, Human Resources in Curbing Coronavirus
Lebanese President Michel Aoun hailed the country’s government swift response to the Coronavirus outbreak, saying its measures helped curb the epidemic within a reasonable range.
Aoun made the remarks in front of visiting envoys of the International Support Group for Lebanon for financial aid to help the country cope with the worsening economic and financial crisis and the coronavirus outbreak.
“The emerging COVID-19 virus has become a global pandemic that has hit all nations, claiming tens of thousands of victims at a growing pace,” Aoun noted.
In Lebanon, having swiftly taken measures and procedures has helped us curb the incidence of this epidemic, keeping it so far within a reasonable range, and we are striving to keep the increase in the number of cases within our containment capacity, the Lebanese president added.
He also noted that the country is “trying to bring our expatriates back home within the available resources.”
“There is no doubt that national self-sufficiency during health crises is one of the pillars of the resilience of states in such crises,” Aoun said, referring to the availability of medical, nursing, paramedic personnel, equipment, machines and protection methods namely PPEs, masks, gloves, sanitizers, as well as the required medication.
Relatively, Aoun praised the country’s human resources dedication. “As for equipment, tools and medication, the national industry has tried to fill some gaps, and here I can only pay tribute to the Lebanese youth who sharpened their creativity during this crisis, thus registering tentative inventions that are badly needed.”
However, Aoun hinted that the largest part remains for import, with all the tremendous and urgent financial burdens that it thrusts upon the country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Aoun reiterated that the Syrian refugees’ crisis still weighs heavily upon the Lebanese socioeconomic reality for years.
“I have already addressed the international community repeatedly to explain its negative repercussions on Lebanon, and call for the safe return of the displaced to their country.”
Today, Lebanon cumulates, on its soil, the burden of the largest and worst two crises that have hit the world for seventy-five years. If the COVID-19 is a bad fate that affected most of the countries and of which we have had our share, we have been bearing, alone, the displacement crisis which has cost us more than 25 billion dollars, as per the recognition of international institutions, with no solution looming in the foreseeable future.
The Lebanese State, Aoun said, is currently putting up a comprehensive financial and economic plan, within a national rescue program, aimed at correcting the deep deficiencies in the economy and addressing the distortions entailed by 30 years of wrong economic and financial policies, preceded by 15 years of destructive wars that undermined many of the economic, industrial and even humanitarian infrastructures.
Despite all urgent circumstances, Aoun underscored, this plan is about to be completed. “It aims at solving the economic, financial and structural problems, restoring faith in the economy, reducing public debt,” among many other measures.
In parallel, a fiscal reform focuses on uprooting corruption, improving fiscal compliance, controlling waste and ensuring good management of the public sector. “At all stages, the plan seeks to spare the most vulnerable categories and to promote social safety nets,” the Lebanese President added.