Time to consider what drove the Lebanese asylum seekers towards their death in the high seas

Time to consider what drove the Lebanese asylum seekers towards their death in the high seas
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Published October 21st, 2013 - 12:03 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Those who made the dangerous journey were from one of the most neglected areas in Lebanon, the Akkar region in the north of the country.
Those who made the dangerous journey were from one of the most neglected areas in Lebanon, the Akkar region in the north of the country.

 Immigrants are taking to the high seas to escape poverty and violence to reach richer shores, hoping to fulfill their dreams of a better life. This growing and deadly trend is but a reflection of an increasingly unjust world.

 The deaths of over a dozen Lebanese asylum seekers late September 2013, as they tried to cross from Indonesia to Australia, sent a shock throughout Lebanese society. But it should not be much of a surprise given that those making this dangerous journey were from one of the most neglected areas in Lebanon, the Akkar region in the north of the country

Also, as the Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2013 shows, Australia ranks at the top of world with a median wealth per adult of $233,000, an indicator of the midway point between the richest and poorest. Lebanon may rank among those countries with a median wealth between $25,000 and $100,000, but its national wealth distribution is extremely unequal.

A recent study by the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs concluded that the Akkar region is by far the poorest area in the country, while only six Lebanese individuals from only two families have a combined wealth of $14 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires.

On the global level the picture is not that much different. It is true that the median wealth of all adults across the world is $51,000 – the highest yet – but when we look at the distribution of this wealth, the numbers are shocking.

The Swiss bank report shows, for example, that 3.2 million adults – two-thirds of the global adult population – are worth $10,000 or less. As for the global middle class, whose wealth is valued between $10,000 and $100,000, they number around one billion only. But the shock comes when the statistics show that 0.7 percent of all adults (32 million people) are worth close to $100 trillion, that is a whopping 41 percent of global wealth.

The United States remains the single biggest generator of millionaires in the world, the report indicates, with 42 percent of the global share. Yet it is one of the most unequal in the world, with an extreme concentration of wealth at the top – its median adult wealth is only around $45,000, not even making the top 25.

 By: Hassan Chakrani

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