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In Lebanon, fridges empty, testify to a crisis unprecedented

glaring Evidence of the economic collapse in Lebanon, which has plunged large segments of the population in poverty, many households now find themselves with refrigerators almost empty.

also read : Lebanon : the power promises to halt the depreciation, but the street does not calm

In default of payment since march for the first time in its history, Lebanon financial distress has seen its national currency tied to the greenback since 1997, plummet on the secondary market, even if the official exchange rate remains unchanged. A salary of a million lebanese pounds, is now worth less than $ 200, compared to about $ 700 last August. In a country heavily dependent on imports, the impact of the impairment is severe. Prices have been propelled to dizzying heights, while thousands of companies have put the key under the door, or fired many employees.

the photographers of the AFP have spent several days to visit the interiors and the kitchens of the country's main cities: Beirut, Tripoli, Byblos, Jounieh, and Saida. Lebanese and Lebanese who have accepted to be photographed next to their refrigerators are left wide open, in kitchens sometimes dark and summaries or lounges to the furnishings spartan. Worn and turned yellow by time, or a pristine white, all of these fridges had one thing in common: shelves and bins are practically empty.

The inhabitants are exposed to the full brunt of the economic crisis. AFP / IBRAHIM CHALHOUBUne woman next to her refrigerator empty, in Tripoli. AFP / IBRAHIM CHALHOUB

Fadwa Merhebi admit they can no longer afford to keep racing. In her fridge, found a bottle of mineral water and two cucumbers. "If there were more small refrigerators on the market, I'd sell mine and I would buy one," says this woman of 60 years old, who lives alone in a tiny apartment in Tripoli (north). "At least, I could use the money to buy something to eat," sighed she. A new class of Lebanese poor has made its appearance, far from the image of a country once dubbed the "Switzerland of the Middle East" for its legendary nightlife and its entrepreneurial genius.

45% of the population below the poverty line

The current crisis, intensified by the measures taken to cope with the new coronavirus, has also sounded the death knell of a middle class that delves a bit more every day in poverty. Today, 45% of the lebanese population lives under the poverty line, and over 35% is unemployed.

In Tripoli, the situation is more serious: in 2015 already, more than 57% of the population lived below the poverty line, including 26% in extreme poverty, according to the UN. "The leaders are all thieves", lambasted Fayyad Darwish, 55 years old and father of seven children. This seller of auto parts has seen its income drop to 20,000 pounds per day (less than five dollars at the parallel market), then he has to pay a rent of 300 dollars per month. He calls for a protest "to detonate the anger against the supermarkets, who rob us, and in front of houses of mps, all criminals". Stronghold of the events antipouvoir, Tripoli has known in mid-June for a resumption of the protest in full collapse of the lebanese pound. The sinking economy has been one of the catalysts for an uprising that is unprecedented, triggered in October 2019, to denounce a political class almost unchanged for decades, accused of corruption and incompetence.

8 commentaireshgo04le 25/06/2020 at 05:47

The little switzerland of the middle east... let's neither mocking nor arrogant, this is what will happen to us. Let us not forget that the French have had on the fifteenth of the month the empty fridges and bank accounts empty as well. They put on yellow vests to show up and in front of the number, the state has pushed back. This man on the photo, could be called John and living in the limousin ! The extreme left has been a godsend for our leaders.. PHEW!! the yellow Vests were finally that nasty separatists, the factious, of the seditious !!! Phew!!!

anonymele 25/06/2020 at 01:46 pm

Lebanon, once a Christian, and prosper fell into the hands of the islamist militia terrorist hezbollah shiite pro-iranian who misappropriates the wealth of the country to finance the balance of tens of thousands of islamists, their armament, the war in syria and the tunnels of the terrorists at the frontier, Israeli. Not to mention the Swiss bank accounts of the leaders of the hebollah and the clan of the traitors aoun

MARCOSCOle 25/06/2020 00:11

this is what we expected. This is not necessarily damage. Poverty can do the greatest good to this country.

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