Nationwide protests grip Lebanon as currency tanks
In Lebanon, anti-government protestors took over streets in multiple cities, setting up burning barricades and forcing road closures as the country enters a deep economic crisis and the currency is tanking. Some protestors largely hold the political elite responsible for the economic crisis, gathering outside their residences to chant against the government. At the prime minister’s house in Beirut, protestors threw stones at police and scaled a security fence enclosing the residence.
Lebanon’s main coastal highway was closed by burning tires as protests were staged in unfamiliar places such as Hezbollah strongholds in the capital city’s southern region. In Tripoli, protestors threw Molotov cocktails at the city’s Central Bank office, meanwhile, protests erupted in Saida and Nabatieh. Lebanon’s currency has lost 70% of its value since October while food prices have soared due to COVID-19 causing mass layoffs and business closures. the World Bank estimates that Lebanon’s poverty rate will be nearly 50% in 2020.