- Title: Lebanon's economic hardship reflects on people's daily lives
- Date: 16th July 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) STREET MUSICIAN, SALEH DIBO HAMADE, SAYING: [SOUNDBITE ENDS ON HAMADE PLAYING OUD] "I want to feed my wife and I want to eat, I have to work. I had to go down to the street (and play Oud), it is better than stealing, or begging (for money), like that I work and I gain (my living) from my efforts. Those who want to give me (money), God bless them and those who don't, God bless them as well. I can't say more than that."
- Embargoed: 30th July 2020 13:06
- Keywords: Lebanon crisis economic hardship economy finances poverty society
- Location: DORA, BEIRUT AND BEIRUT SUBURBS, LEBANON
- City: DORA, BEIRUT AND BEIRUT SUBURBS, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003CN282FB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:With Lebanon's economy in ruins, citizens are struggling with soaring prices, job losses and hunger. The financial meltdown is even threatening the health of people, one Lebanese citizen said.
"My sadness from this current economical situation caused me sickness, I got a small stroke," Sarkis Bakalian, a father of four, described.
Lebanon is in the throes of an acute financial crisis seen as the worst threat to its stability since the 1975-90 civil war. The crisis is rooted in decades of state corruption and bad governance by the sectarian ruling elite.
People are only shopping for what they really need and ask for all items' prices before buying them, said one market owner in Dora, Khalil Habche.
The Lebanese pound has fallen by nearly 80% since late last year, driving up prices in the import-dependent economy, slashing jobs and pushing many into poverty.
The government raised late last month the price of a 900-gramme loaf of partially subsidised bread to 2,000 pounds from its pre-October-crisis price of 1,500 pounds in the first such price change in eight years.
The World Bank warned last November that the proportion of Lebanese living in poverty could rise to 50% if conditions worsened. Since then the crisis has only deepened and the economy has been further hit by a COVID-19 lockdown.
(Production: Imad Creidi, Issam Abdallah, Mohamed Azakir, Yara Abi Nader)
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