Many Lebanese students from abroad whose situation is currently made difficult by the economic crisis that their country is currently going through, between cost of living which has increased while parents’ incomes have fallen due to the deterioration of the currency local by more than 90% compared to its value a few years ago but also by the refusal of the banks to respect the legislation which had created a student dollar, this end to allow the transfer of currencies in their favor.
Some can also count on the generosity of their host country and its inhabitants. This is particularly the case of Pauline, doctoral student in genetics and bioinformatics, as the daily newspaper of the French regional press, the Midi Libre . She will thus be able to continue preparing her thesis, being lodged with a couple, after her scholarship granted by the Lebanese government is interrupted.
Refusal of banks to apply the student dollar law
Now many Lebanese students based abroad report the refusal of their institutions to continue their studies. In question, the delays taken for the payment of their schooling.
The Association of Banks of Lebanon has indeed set up an informal capital control since November 2019, preventing depositors from making transfers abroad despite the various circulars of the Banque du Liban providing for an exception in this regard. and paradoxically taking note of measures aimed at limiting transfers abroad.
Among those affected by these measures, Lebanese students living abroad who are thus prevented from being able to pay their tuition fees or their accommodation.
On September 30, the parliament adopted a law allowing the transfer of funds to foreign establishments of Lebanese students already present there or on proof of invoice for rental of accommodation up to the threshold of USD 10,000. annually.
This law came into force on October 19 after the President of the Republic signed the decree establishing it.
Faced with the law, the Lebanese banks replied that only a decision of the Banque du Liban could oblige them to do so, obliging the governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salamé to publish the circular 13297 calling on the banking establishments to respect the law 193 adopted on the 14th. October 2020 establishing a student dollar, this after several demonstrations, in particular in front of the headquarters of the central bank.
For the time being, Lebanese banks are still refusing to apply the new legislation, without the Banque du Liban – as the supervisory body of the latter – yet intervening to oblige them. The BdL specifies, however, that $ 254 million would have been transferred to the benefit of Lebanese students, a sum well below the needs, underline the parents of the latter.