Since the explosions in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, Lebanon has fallen into an unprecedented economic crisis. All indicators are red. The currency has collapsed, the country is in default of its debt which is now close to 100 billion dollars, unemployment is exploding, and today pmore than 50% of the Lebanese population live below the poverty line.
To avoid capital flight, the Lebanese can no longer freely dispose of their bank account. They can no longer withdraw dollars as was the case before the crisis. In bank branches, a ceiling for withdrawal in Lebanese pounds per month has been set: maximum 10 million Lebanese pounds, or about 2,500 dollars at the official rate, but only 1,100 dollars at the market rate.
With the currency collapse, minus 80% in 2020, and exploding unemployment, many Lebanese are no longer repaying their mortgage or car loan. Everyone picks up their stockings and relies on family members abroad, for those who have them, to send cash. But for how long ?
Lebanon looks like a headless duck. The new government has still not been formed. Result: reforms to redress the country are blocked and negotiations with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are at a standstill. In this national disaster, the only institution that still survives is the army. It ensures as best it can national unity which is disintegrating. But it too is under economic and social pressure, like all Lebanese society: for several months, we no longer serve meat in the barracks.