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Case Study : Socioeconomic Factors Influencing Irregular Migration

Background: The ongoing socioeconomic crisis in Lebanon has triggered a surge in irregular migration, presenting a complex challenge that demands a comprehensive understanding. This case study integrates data from Mr. Ibrahim Jouhari’s research and previous information to provide a multidimensional analysis of irregular migration from Lebanon.

Context: Lebanon’s multifaceted crisis, encompassing economic collapse, soaring inflation, and a depreciating currency, has propelled the nation into one of the most severe episodes globally. This crisis, marked by a 90% devaluation of the Lebanese currency, widespread poverty, and a staggering 240% inflation rate in 2022, has precipitated a massive economic exodus.

Migration Dynamics: The protracted economic downturn, coupled with alarming poverty rates, has led to a negative net migration since 2015, with over 200,000 residents leaving annually. The impact is particularly pronounced in Tripoli, where 74% of households live below the poverty line. Unsurprisingly, a recent survey indicated that 94% of Lebanese view the country as heading in the wrong direction, prompting 61% to contemplate emigration in the next three years.

Irregular Migration Trends: Mr. Ibrahim Jouhari’s research reveals a stark increase in irregular migration attempts from Lebanon, with an exponential rise in both the number of ships and individuals undertaking perilous journeys. The shift in migration patterns, observed since 2020, emphasizes attempts to reach farther shores, notably Italy, due to a migration deal between Cyprus and Lebanon.

Human Cost: The escalating crisis has not only resulted in a surge of migration attempts but also in a tragic increase in casualties. Reported fatalities rose from 6 in 2019 to 157 in 2022, reflecting the growing desperation and risks associated with irregular migration. The economic burden on migrants is exemplified by the average cost of attempts ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 USD, highlighting the financial strain on those seeking a better life.

Case Study Integration: These findings corroborate ACUA’s initiatives, as outlined in the previous study, to combat irregular migration through awareness, advocacy, and legal action. The proposed law, awaiting deputy signatures, and ongoing community engagement initiatives align with the urgency highlighted by Mr. Ibrahim Jouhari’s research.

Conclusion: As Lebanon grapples with an alarming increase in irregular migration, this case study underscores the imperative for coordinated efforts by NGOs, public institutions, and international entities. The merging of research findings from ACUA and Mr. Ibrahim Jouhari illuminates the multifaceted nature of the crisis, urging a collective response to mitigate the human toll and address the root causes of irregular migration.

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