According to an Article
published in “Zawya” website, around 20,000 of highly skilled graduates
are leaving Lebanon each year, a “Staggering numbers” severely
hampering the Lebanese economic growth, according to new research.
The Data was published Tuesday in conjunction with the United Nations Development Program’s latest Human Development...
The Report shows an annual migration of roughly 20,000 Lebanese, the majority of which are well educated. This contributes to a crippling “brain drain,” and strains the national workforce...
The Assistant professor of economics at American University Beirut, Jad Chaaban said that more than two-thirds of male and 45 percent of female university graduates opt to work abroad. “Most Lebanese migrants are highly skilled. Many of them are medical or engineering students and a significant proportion of those studying now (more than a third) say they want to leave, these are not nice figures, and a very worrying trend.” Chaaban said.
The UNDP report shows that nearly 30% of emigrants head for the Gulf States, United States, and Australia...
“Human mobility and development” was launched on Tuesday auspices of Marta Ruedas, the UN deputy special coordinator for Lebanon. It contained 2009 rankings tables for levels of human development in individual countries. It ranked Lebanon as the 83rd most desirable place to live based on life expectancy, access to education and quality of life – a fall of five places since 2006.
Lebanon has struggled to keep up with countries at similar stages of maturity. Moreover Ruedas said “what is not so positive is that the rank of Lebanon has gone down”; while Chaaban added that “Lebanon is not creating enough skilled labor opportunities, not to mention the political instability, the high cost of living within Lebanon and “cumbersome” legislation which discourages entrepreneurialism.”
In addition, the report mentioned that higher salaries, more rewarding working environments, and attractive job packages in other countries appeal the Lebanese workers to travel abroad.
The report also discussed the potential benefits that migration
offers to Lebanon, including the vast remittances sent by the Lebanese
Diaspora. “There are a lot of opportunities for Lebanon when it comes
to migration,” said Ruedas.
Lebanon is second to India for remittances received. They are calculated as $4.5 billion in 2006, the most recent year on which data was compiled. Remittances now account for more than 20 percent of Lebanese GDP, but this is not always to the benefit of communities here.
“80% of most money sent back home to Lebanon seems to be spent on daily consumption,” said Chaaban, while Ruedas announced that the UNDP within Lebanon is working on initiatives to use the money sent by the Diaspora for social development if possible.
Furthermore, research done by the University of Saint Joseph, Lebanese American University, and American University Beirut had unearthed a previously unexplored advantage of migration from Lebanon – an increased competitiveness among students. Chaaban said...
In details, he explained that since the students knew that they have the potential to leave, they studied hard specifically more languages, which created the competitiveness atmosphere among them. Moreover, it also produced a generation of exceptionally well- skilled Lebanese who at the end travelled abroad since a small amount of jobs is available to them in their homeland.
Chaaban concluded by a suggestion applied in many countries, which is to create a more skilled public sector jobs in order to prevent the Lebanese graduates of leaving...
With a hopeful note, we all wish for the Lebanese situation to get better, for the cabinet to see the light so Lebanon can go back to what he was once, “Switzerland of the Middle East” and not the “Country of sins” according to some articles publishes lately about Beirut..
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