Cabinet Convenes to Tackle ‘Tough’ Living Conditions

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Prime Minister Hassan Diab chaired the Cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail in a session dedicated to address the social and tough living conditions in the country, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

Lebanon’s crippling economic and financial crisis has worsened since October 17 when nationwide protests broke out against a corrupt political class and mismanagement of resources.

Lebanon has seen rising poverty and despair, mainly after a lockdown to stem the spread of the new coronavirus throwing tens of thousands more people out of work.

The national currency has lost more than 50% of its value, and banks have imposed crippling capital controls amid a liquidity crunch. But it appeared to be in a free fall over the last few days, selling as low as 4,000 Lebanese pounds to the dollar on the parallel market, down from a fixed peg of 1,500 pounds to the dollar in place for 30 years.

Lebanon, a country of about 5 million people is one the most indebted in the world.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government came to office in January after his predecessor, Saad Hariri, stepped down. He was quickly engulfed in a nationwide health crisis over the novel coronavirus, a crisis that deepened the country’s economic recession.

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