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Beirut Among Cities with Highest Cost of Living, Worst Quality of Life

The Lebanese capital has maintained a negative lead rank at both the regional and international levels concerning the cost of living and quality of life.

Beirut ranked 191st among 195 cities in the world and last among the Arab cities in Numbeo’s 2024 Quality of Life Index. Muscat, Oman’s capital, ranked 23rd globally and the top city among Arab countries for the index, followed by Dubai in the 39th rank and Abu Dhabi in the 43rd rank. Meanwhile, Cairo came close to Beirut in the 185th place globally, according to the Numbeo report.

Beirut’s low rating is mainly due to the monetary collapse and the skyrocketing inflation rates, in addition to the deterioration of basic services, including electricity, water, health coverage and others.

In the 2024 Cost of Living Index, produced by Numbeo, Beirut is ranked as the 194th highest among 362 cities around the world and the sixth highest among Arab cities.

Numbeo benchmarks the index against New York City.

According to the Cost of Living Index, Beirut received a score of 48.2 points, which means that the prices of consumer goods in Beirut are 51.8 percent lower than those in New York City.

The Lebanese capital received a score of 18.5 points on the Rent Index, which means that rent in Beirut is 81.5 percent lower than it is in New York City.

For the Groceries Index, Beirut received a score of 34.4 points, which means that groceries in the Lebanese capital are 65.6 percent less costly than they are in New York City.

As for corruption, Lebanon ranked 149th in the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2023, prepared by Transparency International, the leading global watchdog on corruption.

The results are due to indicators of weak governance, weak judicial system, lack of transparency, and obstacles to access information.
In its recommendations, the watchdog urged the Lebanese government to immediately enforce the right to access information law, adding that specific attention should be given to the disclosure of contracts signed by Public Administrations of critical importance, a crucial step towards long-awaited reforms.

Transparency International demanded Lebanon to address the opaque practices in public financial management. “The systemic opaque practices in Public Financial Management need to be addressed urgently. Fiscal transparency is now more than ever a prerequisite for sound reforms,” it said.

Also, it called for empowering the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and to equip it with the necessary resources to effectively combat corruption and ending impunity

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat