Global RiskNews Briefs

Lebanese protesters block roads over economic meltdown

In Lebanon, thousands of demonstrators gathered to protest the country’s rampant economic struggles just days after the Lebanese pound sank to record lows. Lebanon’s economic crisis began in 2019 and has propelled more than three-quarters of the population below the poverty line. In just a few years, the local currency’s value has dropped by over 90%. Last week, the Lebanese pound sank to more than 25,000 against the dollar, compared to 1,500 in 2019. During the protests, demonstrators blocked roads, burned tires, and created more havoc in central Beirut and the southern city of Sidon.

There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September. The appointment occurred after more than a year of political deadlock and a deadly explosion that compounded the crisis. Mikati’s government has been at a standstill since an issue over the lead investigator into the fatal explosion, which occurred at a Beirut power last year. The cabinet has not met since the issue came to light at a meeting on October 12. Subsidies have been cut back on almost all goods, including fuel and medicine, resulting in skyrocketing prices.

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