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World Bank Warns of Weak Libyan Economy

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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People frustrated by rising prices of everyday commodities are lining up outside of Tripoli’s cash strapped banks.

A report recently released by the World Bank states that there has been a “substantial loss in real purchasing power of the population”, as the prices of groceries has jumped to 31 percent earlier this year.

Moreover, political instability in the country has resulted in an increase of violence and criminal behaviour in Libyan cities, making everyday life for residents more difficult. Clashes between rival armed groups in addition to robberies, kidnapping for ransom and car thefts have contributed to disrupting the everyday lives of locals.

According to the World Bank, despite having the largest oil reserve in Africa, Libya’s “economy is near collapse as political stalemate and civil conflict prevent it from fully exploiting its sole natural resource: oil.”

The World Bank also stated that the North African nation’s economy has “mired in recession since 2013.”

Most of Libya’s major oil facilities were forced to close after clashes between militias became frequent and out of control.

Consequently, since 2013 $100 billion in oil revenue was lost, said the head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla. Revenue from oil exports used to account for 95 percent of Libya’s state revenues.

The reopening of major oil facilities in the oil crescent region is a positive sign towards recovery for Libya’s economy.

In hopes of recovering from a failing economy, Libyan authorities have depended on currency reserves that have decreased this year to $43 billion from $107.6 billion in 2013.

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