Can Lebanon come back from the brink? | The Stream

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  • “Lebanon’s finished.” That’s the prevailing sentiment among many residents in this nation these days, as it grapples with the worst economic crisis in its history.

    Today, nearly half of Lebanon’s six million people live below the poverty line. More than a third of the working population is unemployed, and the nation’s currency has lost 60 percent of its value against the US dollar.

    The situation has spiraled since March, when the country defaulted on a foreign debt for the first time.

    Protests over the fallout of the financial collapse were briefly put on hold by a months-long lockdown that has succeeded in curbing cases of the coronavirus within the country.

    But demonstrations are flaring up again because the pandemic has made it harder for people to afford basic items like food and clothing.

    Lebanon’s newest set of leaders have proposed a “recovery plan” to woo international aid. But analysts warn that there are no easy fixes for decades of corruption, sectarianism and complicated geopolitics.

    In this episode we ask, can Lebanon come back from the brink? Join the conversation.

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