Lebanese govt says it has no funds to issue passports

Cannot pay French company printing them

29 April, 15:38

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, APRIL 29 - The authorities in Lebanon, a country on the verge of economic collapse and which declared bankruptcy two years ago, does not have any more money to issue new passports.

    The announcement was made by the country's General Security, the government agency that is tasked with issuing travel documents, and came a few hours after the release of a survey by Arab Barometer that had found that about half the Lebanese population "is trying to leave Lebanon in search of better opportunities abroad".

    According to Arab Barometer, some 48% of Lebanese interviewed said that they intended to leave the country, where - according to the UN - over half the population is under the poverty line.

    General Security announced that it had suspended the issuing of appointments online for passports.

    New passports cannot be got because the agency has used up all the funds allocated to pay a private French company tasked with producing the actual passport books.

    Interviewed by local media, General Security director Abbas Ibrahim said that the appointments made through April will be held but that afterwards the passport stocks would be finished.

    Lebanon's economic collapse, which started in the autumn of 2019, has pushed many Lebanese families to leave the country and there has been an exponential rise in passport requests in the past two years. (ANSAmed).

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