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Lebanon’s water system on brink of total collapse, says UN

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Lebanon’s water supply system is on the verge of collapse. The announcement marks the latest development in Lebanon’s recent struggles that have pushed the country into chaos. More than 71% of the country’s population are at immediate risk of losing access to safe water, UNICEF said on Friday. This includes over 4 million people, one million of which are refugees. Water pumping is expected to gradually come to a halt in Lebanon within the next four to six weeks due to shortages in fuel, funding, and supplies such as chlorine. Fuel shortages have plagued Lebanon in recent weeks and have caused large parts of the country’s economy to stall.

Lebanon is currently enduring financial and political crises described by the World Bank as one of the three worst economic disasters since the mid-19th century. Lebanon’s GDP per capita has contracted by 40%, resulting in half of the population slipping under the poverty line. The World Bank has speculated on the source of the recession, calling the event a deliberate depression. Lebanon has not had a government for almost a year, and last week Prime Minister Saad Hariri abandoned his bid to head a rescue administration.

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