Poverty, growth and income distribution in Lebanon - country study
This country study is a modified executive summary of the full report, which is the first to draw a comprehensive profile of poverty in Lebanon based on money-metric measurements of household expenditures. Its data source is a 2004/05 national Living Conditions and Household Budget Survey.
Drawing on the full report, the study reports that over one fifth of the Lebanese population is poor but only eight per cent are extremely poor. Moreover, extreme poverty is shallow. So it is certainly feasible for Lebanon to attain the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving extreme poverty. However, the study also finds that regional disparities have worsened in recent years, with the North governorate falling significantly behind and suffering from high rates of poverty.
Drawing on the new poverty profile, the study focuses on targeting strategies. This includes channeling resources to poor areas of the country—such as four subregions where two-thirds of the poor are concentrated. At the same time, the study recognizes that macroeconomic policies—and fiscal policies in particular—need to be redesigned to generate a broad-based, inclusive pattern of economic growth and create the fiscal space for financing more extensive social services and a more effective social safety net.