Crisis-ridden Lebanon is embroiled in an unwanted diplomatic crisis because of its Information Minister George Kordahi wrongly criticising the Gulf Arab states for the war in Yemen and defending the rebel Houthis.
Children have been hit hard by the country's deep economic crisis exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic which has left about eight in 10 people poor and threatens the education of some 700,000 children including 260,000 Lebanese, the report said.
George Kordahi said he had quit before the French president visited Riyadh in the hope Emmanuel Macron would help ease the crisis sparked by the Lebanese TV host-turned-politician's critical remarks about Saudi Arabia's role in the Yemen war.
“With Saudi Arabia, we have made commitments towards Lebanon: to work together, to support reforms, to enable the country to emerge from the crisis and preserve its sovereignty,” Macron said on Twitter.
The World Bank ranks the crisis as among the most severe globally since the mid-19th century, devastating a country once seen as a wealthy and liberal outpost in the Middle East before civil war broke out from 1975 to 1990.
The voting started in 9 Arab countries in addition to Iran, namely Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. About 31,000 Lebanese citizens in 10 countries have registered to vote in Friday's first phase.
Only 202 lawmakers arrived to Iraq's parliament, falling short of the two-thirds quorum required for the 329-member legislature to conduct an electoral session to select the country's president.
It is a dire situation in Lebanon. The economy is teetering on the edge. There is an acute bread shortage, and people are on the brink of no food in the month of Ramadan, the holy period of fasting. Lebanon’s Economy
Few Lebanese believe next Sunday’s parliamentary election will install enough reformers in the 128-member national assembly to effect change and save the country from the downward slide which began nearly four years ago and inspired
The critical election comes amid an unprecedented financial crisis that has spurred a mass population exodus, although while opposition figures have pinned their hopes on the diaspora vote, experts say the political status quo is expected to remain.