THE LAUNCH OF THE L.N.D.P.
The table of contents
1. WHAT are the problems that we face now in Lebanon? In this section we briefly
review the events of the past two decades. We also consider our current situation, and the
consequences of failing to implement some indispensable reforms.
2. WHAT is the LNDP, and WHY do we need it? The L.N.D.P. (The Lebanese National
Development Plan) is a document that describes Lebanon’s recommended social, economic,
infrastructure, financial and Diaspora’s policies. The Plan covers eighteen major sectors. In each
sector the participants to the project will seek to identify : (1) the issues that we face in Lebanon,
(2) the reforms that need to be introduced to address these issues, (3) the way to implement these
reforms, and (4) the financing that will be needed to bring the entire project to a satisfactory
3. HOW shall we build the L.N.D.P.? We shall build the L.N.D.P., one sector at a time, by
identifying all the related issues, and seeking the effective solutions. This challenging work will be
conducted by teams of university undergraduates, under the supervision and theguidance of
qualified and experienced experts. With regard to each individual issue in the sector concerned,the
young researchers will seek the opinion and the suggestions of the stake holders in that sector.
4 & 5.- WHO will take part in this project? The Authorities, the Experts, the Stakeholders,
the members of the Civil Administration, the Undergraduates should all participate in building the L.N.
6. WHEN should the L.N.D.P. be launched? We believe that we should do our best to
complete the study and the elaboration of the L.N.D.P. before the parliamentary elections that are
expected to take place in November 2014.
The L.N.D.P. will, in this way, serve as a yardstick to evaluate the claims and the promises of the
candidates. After the elections the L.N.D.P. should be used by the newly elected deputies to
effectively gauge the performance of the Authorities during the subsequent four years of their
7 & 8. A GLIMPSE at the 6 Plans that we hold in our archives. In this section,we conduct
a brief review of the six Plans that were elaborated during the past decade: the Education Plan, the
Agriculture Plan, the Industry Plan, the Energy Plan, the Water Plan, and the Environment Plan.
9. WHICH issues should be tackled first? In our opinion, the matters of the growing
Public Debt and the implementation of some basic reforms prime all other considerations.
Foreword – Lebanon 1993- 2013
The missed opportunities
If we wish to introduce some essential reforms in our country, we need to cast a hard look at
the events of the past twenty years.
That period started with the legitimate intent of reconstructing the country at the end the civil
war. The mission was successfully completed, within the norms standards, and budgets that
were initially set up. A book, entitled “Lebanon rebuilt, 10 years of achievement 1992-2002”
that was prefaced by Prime Minister Rafic Hariri himself, provides an overview of the
achievements and the costs that were incurred.
Unfortunately, that commendable realization was subsequently marred by some
fundamental errors in financial policy that we shall revert to subsequently. The two decades
that elapsed from 1993 to date were marked by the following upheavals, errors and
1. A string of political crisis and foreign interferences in our country that were fuelled
and aggravated by perennial dissensions among the various religious communities and an
unceasing infighting between two opposing political blocs.
2. A pervading climate of corruption that has crept, within Lebanese society and
throughout our entire Public Administration.
3. Some erroneous fiscal and financial policies that were applied by the Authorities
These policies, that unfortunately, remain unchanged today, have resulted in an unnatural
growth of Lebanon’s Public Debt that grew, from the original reconstruction cost of seven
billion dollars stated above, to the current amount of $65 billion US dollars. This huge
increase is due to the accumulation, over twenty years, of unpaid compound interest on the
original loan, as shown in the successive yearly reports of the Ministry of Finance.
4. The lack of a clear long term vision demonstrated by our successive governments
coupled with a near total absence of a firm and solid governance policy.
To reverse this negative trend and set the country on the path of social justice and economic
development, we would have to start by drawing up a clear and detailed short-term socio-
economic plan and agree upon some new fiscal and debt management policies for the
Furthermore, a clear cut anti-corruption agenda ought to be put in place at the earliest
If we wish to avoid falling, once more, into the same trap, all these programs ought to be,
from the start, unanimously endorsed and supported by the political parties and the religious
They should be subsequently validated and approved in Parliament by the majority of the
Finally, an implementation procedure should be initiated and strictly adhered to. It should
provide for an independent periodical monitoring of the performance of the Authorities. Civil
society must be allowed to take part in the monitoring process