Lebanese Protest Worsening Living Conditions, Currency Collapse
Protests broke out on Monday across Lebanon against deteriorating living conditions and collapse of the local currency, the National News Agency reported.
The protesters were said to have blocked roads in the capital Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, Zahle and in Mount Lebanon with burning tires and waste containers, preventing citizens from reaching their workplaces and prompting some schools to shut their doors.
The nationwide protests came after the collapse of the local currency to 25,000 Lebanese pounds per U.S. dollar as opposed to the old official rate of 1,500 pounds.
Meanwhile, activists and civil society members had a day earlier circulated messages on social media calling on citizens to join the protests.
Lebanon has been reeling under the worst financial crisis in its history with unemployment rate expected to rise above 40 per cent in 2021 and poverty rate estimated at 78 per cent by the United Nations.
The country had initiated talks with the International Monetary Fund in hopes of unlocking billions of dollars in funds to save its crippling economy.