FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. - September 17, 2021
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Statement on New Lebanese Government and the Economic Crisis in Lebanon
CMEP acknowledges that the current financial crisis in Lebanon represents one of the greatest economic catastrophes of our time. As our Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon stated, “The humanitarian crisis has left the majority of Lebanese in need of food, water, fuel, and limited access to their personal financial resources and wealth. Yet, one of the largest concerns is the geopolitical fallout that could occur and destabilize the already fragile geopolitical relationships between Lebanon and her neighbors.”
It is within the context of these economic challenges, that CMEP welcomes the new interim Lebanese government formed September 10 under PM Najib Mikati and wishes them all success. The government will have unique challenges in addressing the prevalent corruption among officials. Simultaneously, the new interim government will need to work to solve the fuel, electricity, medical and Covid19 crises. May the new government pursue all constructive efforts to bring back Lebanon's economy and to hold elections as scheduled.
CMEP is pleased to note President Biden's decision on September 7 to release nearly 100 million extra in humanitarian aid pledged in August.
The US government can, and should, do even more to help Lebanon grapple with the problems above, and also make US policy changes that would help Lebanon's huge number of refugees, more than 1.7 million - - almost a quarter of the people now living in Lebanon, in their efforts to return to their countries.
CMEP also calls on American Christians to pray for the people of Lebanon as they are suffering the most immediate effects of limited resources as a result of the economic crisis.
*** This statement was edited slightly from its original version on September 24, 2021.
Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.