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Morning Brief

Jad Ghosn announces candidacy, Nasrallah slams Ukraine stance, NSSF stops paying private hospitals: Everything you need to know to start your Wednesday

Here’s what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Wednesday, March 9

Jad Ghosn announces candidacy, Nasrallah slams Ukraine stance, NSSF stops paying private hospitals: Everything you need to know to start your Wednesday

Female supporters of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah attend a rally to commemorate Hezbollah Wounded Veterans Day in Beirut's southern suburbs on Tuesday. (Credit: Aziz Taher/Reuters)

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Former Al Jadeed reporter Jad Ghosn announced yesterday that he will run for Parliament in the Metn district. In a television interview with his former employer, Ghosn stated that he will be running with opposition group Citizens in a State (MMFD), founded and led by former Minister Charbel Nahhas. In the interview, he said that he would feel like a hypocrite if he opposed but did not fight against the current political parties, when explaining why he decided to throw his hat in the race. He added that the economic crisis was another major reason behind his decision to run, and that his choice to run in Metn was made because Ibrahim Kanaan, head of the parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee, is also running in that district. Before the news, MMFD had so far fielded 52 candidates from across Lebanon to compete in elections against traditional political parties. The Metn district holds eight seats in Parliament, all Christian: four Maronite, two Greek Orthodox, one Greek Catholic, and one Armenian Orthodox.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah condemned Lebanon’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a speech yesterday. Nasrallah referenced a statement released by Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry almost two weeks ago in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, condemning Russia’s actions and asking the country to halt its aggression. Nasrallah claimed that this stantment was written by the US Embassy in Lebanon, adding that instead “we should have told the United States we don’t want to be your slaves.” He added that Lebanon should have abstained from voting in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The Hezbollah head also called out what he says are double standards when it comes to Ukraine, saying “what about all the war that the US has made in Afghanistan and Iraq? What about the Israeli crimes in Palestine? The Saudi war in Yemen?”

The head of the private hospital owners’ syndicate, Sleiman Haroun, announced that the National Social Security Fund has stopped paying advances to hospitals. In a statement, Haroun said that as of April 2022, only patients requiring critical care will be covered by the NSSF, while dialysis and cancer patients will have to pay for their treatments out of their own pockets. Haroun explained though the advances have been paid regularly for the past 11 years, the ones allocated for January and February of 2022 were not, despite a request being made, with the NSSF board having not approved the 2022 payment yet. Meanwhile, Health Minister Firass Abiad has confirmed that the ministry is seeking to save up money in order to buy cancer drugs, pointing out that “if we want to cover all needs, external funding must be increased.” He echoed the statement made by Haroun saying that “if funding is secured through the NSSF, it can pay more to the patient … the solution is to release the NSSF funds.” Lebanon’s health care sector has been reeling under multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and Lebanese financial crisis.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Relief and anxiety at Beirut airport, as the Lebanese return from Ukraine”


Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up.Former Al Jadeed reporter Jad Ghosn announced yesterday that he will run for Parliament in the Metn district. In a television interview with his former employer, Ghosn stated that he will be running with opposition group Citizens in a State (MMFD), founded and led by former Minister Charbel Nahhas. In the interview, he said that he...