Lebanese security forces take measures against people protesting against dire economic conditions, political groups, Central Bank officials and depreciation in the value of the Lebanese pound against the dollar in Beirut, Lebanon on July 02, 2020.
Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Lebanon’s economic crisis, coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that shut the country down, could lead to a famine.
The price of food has gone up significantly, as the value of the Lebanese pound goes down drastically.
Food prices have gone up by 56% since October.
There are estimates from the World Bank that 75 % of the country’s population could end up living in poverty, France24 reported.
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The coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis could lead to a famine in the country, The Telegraph reported.
Since October, the Lebanese pound has lost 80% of its value.
“Before the dollar crisis, my monthly salary as a freelance accounting assistant would last 15-20 days. Now it’s only enough for five days. I think they will probably make us all leave our jobs at the end of July… my family are already past the minimum that we can survive on. We borrow from the market to eat for the rest of the month,” Mohamed, a 30-year-old Syrian economics teacher told the Telegraph.
Since October, when the country witnessed the beginning of anti-government protests, the price of food rose by 56%. The Telegraph reported that by the end of April more than half of the population in the country was having a hard time getting food, according to a UN report.
According to Reuters, a third of a million people in the country of nearly 6 million have already lost their job since October.
France24, added that in 2019, almost half of the Lebanese population was living in poverty, but it’s estimated that that could soon reach 75% of the population, according to the World Bank.
While the pound is generally valued at 1,500 to a US dollar, it has been trading on the black market for upwards of 4,000, The National reported.
According to The National, bread prices increased by 33% this week, and many are worried that other subsidies like medicine and gas could also increase.
AlJazeera reported that this is the first time in a decade that the price of bread has gone up.
“If you go to the supermarket you will start crying. Everyone I know is depressed,” Talin Kanledgian told The National.
Many, who are able to leave are considering heading to other countries now that the airport has reopened.
“I don’t want to leave again but I have a family to look after,” a Lebanese surgeon, who holds a French passport, told The National.
The situation in the country has gotten so bad that last month Ethiopian maids were dumped outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut after their employers couldn’t afford to pay them anymore.
Reuters reported that while there were efforts to negotiate relief from the International Monetary Funds, those efforts “hit the rocks.”
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