Socio economic situation in south Lebanon has been extremely affected by more than 20 years of conflict due mainly to Israeli occupation.
In relation to the human capital, the conflict has left thousands of deceased and therefore orphans and widows, as well as injured and disabled; in relation to material losses left private and public infrastructures destroyed or deteriorated.
Southern Lebanon is divided into 2 governorates (Mohafazat): South Lebanon and Nabattiyeh, that include 7 administrative districts (cazas): Saida-Zahrani, Tyre, Jezzine, Nabattiyeh, Marjayoun, Hasbaya, and Bint-Jbeil. The region includes 3 main cities and 300 towns and villages of which 288 are municipalities. According to the Ministry of Interior & Municipalities, the population in the region is around 472,000 inhabitants.
Territories of the cazas of Tyre, Marjeyoun, Jezzine, Hasbaya, and Bint-Jbeil were occupied by Israeli army until the year 2000; nowadays the Israeli conflict remains latent with sporadic clashes that difficult the complete recovery of private investment in the area.
The second higher national percentage of households living in very low conditions is located in the south (67.2% in Bint-Jbeil region compared to the national average of 7.2%), also the south is second in rates of people living in extreme poverty
In addition, four main refugee camps with several scattered ones are located in the surroundings of Tyre and Saida with an estimated population of 100,000 individuals. These are not included in national statistics and their living conditions are very degraded.
Economic activity is low and still under recovery. Being mainly agricultural activities and agro-food industry, followed by trade and services; tourist sector is starting to be recovered due to institutional investment for rehabilitation of historical sites.
Public electricity is not fully available with frequent cuts of supply, the need to supplement public electricity with generators increases the production cost of any activity conducted in the area.
The low economic conditions have a direct impact on educational and employment opportunities notably in the post occupied zones, generating a degradation cycle that widens poverty situation.
Copyright ADR 2011