During the last year, the situation in Lebanon went from bad to unbearable; the country had turned into a large waiting hall for those who are willing to leave, drawing a new wave of immigration and alarming a dangerous brain drain for many professionals’ resources. In brief, it is the migration of those defeated in the country, economically depressed, and searching for any job or any stable life.
On top of the concerned sectors, the medical sector witnessed enormous outflow and suffered the most. According to Dr. Charaf Abou Charaf, head of the doctor’s syndicate, 500 to 15,000 registered doctors have left the country while 500 out a total of 16,800 registered nurses have departed as well in year 2020.
Another badly harmed sector is engineering. Mr. Jad Tabet, President of the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, declared that during the last two months of 2020, five to six engineers a day requested the certificates necessary for new jobs abroad. In fact, the main factor is the number of engineering companies closing in Lebanon and relocating abroad. Tabet also added that some 72,000 engineers and architects are registered in the country, half of whom work outside Lebanon today.
In the same token, professors outpouring has also been significant, as mentioned by the United Press International (UPI) interview with Mr. Fadlo Khoury; 120 AUB professors representing nearly 12% of a total of 1,220 faculty members have left probably because of the country’s deteriorating conditions.
Above all, the banking sector that had been in the core of crises, witnessed a dwindling in the number of its employees which decreased from 25,071 to 23,954 by mid of 2020. Moreover, “Macrotrends” stated that the current net migration rate for Lebanon in 2020 increased by 47.19% compared to 2019 standing at -12.523 per 1000 population in 2020. Important to mention that for the first quarter of year 2021, the net migration reached -16.538 per 1000 population in spite of the worldwide pandemic paralyzing the global economy.
Overall, immigration may not be a new phenomenon to Lebanon but the new wave coincides with an increase in the elderly and a decrease in the number of children. In short, the Lebanese society is aging. Such a development will impose enormous burdens on the economy in the coming years especially that Lebanon is losing its human capital. Consequently, we may not have all emigrated, but we have become slain between two places at the same time.
Lebanon Net Migration Rate between 1973-2021 per 1000 Population
Source: Macrotrends, United Nations – World Population Prospects, BLOMINVEST