THE WASHINGTON POST, JULY 20, 2020
Known as an oasis of prosperity and relative stability during the past decade of Middle East turmoil, Lebanon is descending into poverty, despair and potentially chaos. Economists are now predicting a Venezuela-style collapse, with acute shortages of essential products and services, runaway inflation and rising lawlessness — in a country at the heart of an already unstable region.
THE TELEGRAPH, JUNE 30, 2020
Could Lebanon be heading to a repeat of the 1915-18 famine in which the country lost half of the population? “Absolutely,” said Dr Keulertz. “By the end of the year, we will see 75 per cent of the population on food handouts, but the question is whether there will be food to hand out.”
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME, JUNE 26, 2020
Syrians today face an unprecedented hunger crisis as the prices of basic foods reach levels unseen even at the height of the nine-year conflict and millions of people are pushed deeper into poverty, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said, on the eve of a donors pledging conference for Syria.
REUTERS, JUNE 9, 2020
“The pound hit 3,000 against the safe-haven dollar in a rapidly accelerating free-fall. It broke an earlier psychological barrier of 2,000 pounds to the dollar last Thursday […] The collapse of the currency has driven up inflation and aggravated hardship as Syrians struggle to afford food, power and other basics.”
INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP, JUNE 8, 2020
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lebanon’s economy, which was already slowly imploding, has brought it to the brink of total collapse […] The accumulation of crises is driving ever greater numbers of Lebanese into absolute poverty.”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, JUNE 3, 2020
“In recent weeks, dozens of Ethiopian women have gathered outside the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut. Some have been abandoned by their employers, without pay, their belongings, or passports […] These women are among the most marginalised people in society, and are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis which was exacerbated by COVID-19.”
CNN (VIDEO), MAY 27, 2020
“Thousands of migrant domestic workers are stranded in Lebanon now jobless, penniless and some homeless with no way out as coronavirus exacerbates the country’s economic crisis.”
FINANCIAL TIMES, MAY 24, 2020
“In the past six months, 1.4m more Syrians lost sure access to adequate food — bringing the total number of “food insecure” people in Syria to 9.3m, more than half the whole population of 17m […] The steep depreciation in the currency, down 60 per cent from this time last year, has meant the minimum wage is equal to about $26 a month.”
REUTERS, MAY 21, 2020
“A few weeks ago, Lebanon witnessed its first ‘hunger protests.’ Many Lebanese have already stopped buying meat, fruits and vegetables, and may soon find it difficult to afford even bread […] 80% of Lebanon’s wheat had been coming from Ukraine and Russia, but last month, Russia suspended wheat exports, while Ukraine is considering a similar move.”
THE WASHINGTON POST, MAY 17, 2020
“The value of the Lebanese pound has collapsed, dollars are nearly impossible to find, and unemployment is soaring. Protests that erupted in October, demanding an end to corruption and nepotism, quieted down for a time but have returned on a smaller scale in the past few weeks as the local currency’s value fell below 4,000 pounds to the dollar [on the black market], after being pegged for decades at 1,500 to the dollar.
THE INDEPENDANT, MAY 6, 2020
“In Lebanon, the arrival of the coronavirus only worsened the dire economic situation as businesses and borders were closed to control the spread of the pandemic […] With the currency losing more than half its value, food prices have soared. Some staples like rice have nearly tripled in price over the year. Unemployment is also on a steep rise.”
CNN, APRIL 29, 2020
“Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the World Bank projected that 45% of people in Lebanon would be below the poverty line in 2020. Now, the government believes that up to 75% of people are in need of aid”