Against the background of the Lebanese financial crisis, a public opinion poll was conducted by Statistics Lebanon on behalf of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung between 10 t0 15 December 2021 (See, “Study of Perceptions and Attitudes of Lebanese Citizens Towards the Economic, Social and Political Situation in Lebanon”, December 2021). The survey was conducted door to door, with a sample of 1,200 respondents spread along lines of gender, age, education, religion, and region. Major findings of the Survey were as follows:
- Stopping corruption was ranked first with 48% as the most important economic issue that must be addressed at present and given priority, in addition to the repatriation of illicit funds at 24%.
- Bringing a new and clean political class” was ranked first with 39%, and it was noteworthy that even though the majority considered this the key issue, only 4% chose the parliamentary elections as the most important issue.
- Solving political problems with the Gulf countries topped the list of international issues that should be given priority at present with 74%.
- A pessimistic outlook towards Lebanon’s future in the upcoming two years dominates on the various levels at more than 80% of respondents: The Lebanese economy, the families’ financial situations, the job opportunities, and Lebanon’s reputation. In addition:
- Food Security: 40% of Lebanese people reduced the quantity of food, while 32% reduced the number of meals per day, 83% of the Lebanese resorted to changing the quality of their food in terms of brands, while 77% resorted to changing the quality of food in terms of items.
- Mobility: A majority of 75% of Lebanese reduced their mobility due to the economic crisis, and 59% have resorted to using different transportation means, such as refraining from driving their own cars.
- Health: about half the respondents (47%) were unable to take their medications while sick (or did not take a medication for a chronic disease) due to its unavailability, while 31.4% were unable to take their medications due to lack of money. It was remarkable that 34% did not visit a doctor during illness due to lack of money, and 30% were unable to enter the hospital for the same reason. Remarkably, respondents belonging to the age category of 46 years and above are the most negatively affected in terms of health security, posing a serious threat to their lives at these advanced ages.
- Energy: 46% of the respondents have resorted to reducing the amount of subscription to the power generator because of the high bill, while 22% have resorted to suspending the subscription, in light of the complete power outage.
- 14% of respondents only have access to fresh US Dollars.
- 14% of the respondents are political activists, while it was that 13% refused to answer this question.
- A majority of 60% of the respondents declared that no one represents their ideas and reflects their political orientations.
- 36% of the respondents support the protest movement in Lebanon (34% support it + 2% did not support it at first but they currently support it).
- About a third of the Lebanese might participate in a protest today (30%), compared to 10% who responded with “I don’t know”, and 59% announced that they would not participate.
- Respondents don’t trust any of the international actors with the exception of France, albeit in varying percentages. France is the only actor whose role in Lebanon is considered by respondents as positive to a certain extent, where its average scored 2.52 on the 4-point scale.
- Half the respondents (50%) confirmed their intention to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, compared to 35% who declared their unwillingness to participate and 15% have not decided yet.
- Almost three quarters (74%) of the respondents who declared that they do not want to participate in the upcoming elections, declared that nothing would motivate them to vote.
- Remarkably, “the sectarian affiliation of the candidate” scored low with an average score of 2.10, and was considered the least important factor.
- Half the respondents (50%) believe that the parliamentary elections will be a source of change, compared to 45% who believe that it will not be a source of change.
- 39% of Lebanese people are considering emigrating, and 39% of those who are considering emigrating have started preparing themselves to leave, such as searching for work abroad, submitting their CVs, preparing their papers for leaving Lebanon, and submitting applications to embassies.
- Around 45% of respondents who are currently in the process of preparing to leave Lebanon have received higher than secondary school diplomas, while it was remarkable that around 17% of respondents who are currently in the process of preparing to leave Lebanon have received middle school education, and about 21% have received secondary school education.
Needless to say, respondents feel very bad and sad about the crisis and its implications, but not mad enough as the majority of them are dissociated from politics and political action and change.