Lebanon, a once vibrant tourist hotspot, has been in crisis for years. Corruption of officials long pre-dating the pandemic was exacerbated by COVID-19. Since then, Lebanon has endured the Beirut ammonium nitrate explosion of 2020 that destroyed 77 000 apartments, wounded 7000 people and displaced 300 000 people. Rapid inflation has seen the country’s currency, the Lebanese Pound, lose over ninety-five percent of its value in February of this year effectively rendering the currency useless Now the Lebanese economy runs on American dollars.
Education has increased by 191% and healthcare has increased by 176% leading to severe medication shortages, including cancer drugs, leading patients to gamble on black market medications in the hope of saving their lives.
To add to the pile of problems, the Lebanese parliament has failed for its twelfth time to install a President. The country has been without a head of state since October last year.
Produced By: Dominic Giles
Featured In Story: Amar Mustafa PHD Student in History and International Relations Specialising in Lebanese and Syrian Politics at Monash University.
First aired on The Wire, Tuesday 20 June 2023