Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to the many Lebanese who are out on the streets, protesting inequality and lack of opportunity in the dire economic crisis. Lebanon is the third-highest-indebted country in the world. In 2016, payments consumed 48% of the government's revenues, limiting its ability to make much-needed investments in infrastructure and public services.
The top 1% of Lebanese receive approximately 25% of Lebanon's national income, while the bottom 50% of the population are left with 10%, making Lebanon one of the countries with the worst income inequality in the world.
Protesters are demanding equality and a brighter future for themselves, their families and all Lebanese citizens. Khalil Gibran, a famous Lebanese poet, once wrote, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls”.
I stand with the strong and bold Lebanese who are protesting for a brighter future for all of Lebanon.