Inflation has driven Lebanon’s currency to historically low values in recent weeks. The crash of the Lebanese pound is playing its part in the companies grave economic crisis, which has left half the population living below the poverty line.
Fire and fury have hit the streets of Beirut. Lebanon is descending fast into an economic crisis that the World Bank says will likely rank among the world’s worst of the last 150 years. Where some streets witness protests, others host long lines of cars queuing for a share of Lebanon’s insufficient supply of gasoline. Shortages are pushing up the costs of many essentials. The price of subsidized bread has been hiked five times this year alone.
Citizens are also getting much less for their money because of record inflation. The Lebanese pound has been trading at an all-time high on the black market – at over 10 times its official rate against the US dollar.
The crisis is largely the result of three decades of financial mismanagement by successive governments, following Lebanon’s civil war. But it’s been made even worse by a global pandemic, and the billions of dollars of damage caused by last year’s deadly blast in Beirut port.