I think the last story we reported said that Lebanon’s reconstruction cost would be around $2.5 billion — a number I thought was far too conservative. A 12-story building in my neighborhood would cost at least $20 million to build, if not more. It can’t be less than a quarter as much to build the same thing in Lebanon. Considering many thousands of buildings were totally flattened or damaged beyond repair, not to mention bridges, highways, the airport, hospitals — and I could go on — the cost had to be way higher. I see today in an article which is otherwise lower news, this paragraph:
The cost to rebuild Lebanon is at least $7 billion. More than 130,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in the short war. Unemployment has doubled, to 20%.
$7 billion still seems pretty low, but I guess we’ll only know once it’s done. With unemployment doubled, domestic sources of funding will be harder to dig up. It’s frustrating to realize that all I can do is wish them well, even as my money helped destroy their lives.