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Lebanon plunges towards mass poverty amid virus crisis

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Even before the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered businesses across the country, Lebanon’s economy was in dire straits. At the end of 2019, 45 percent of Lebanese were living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Soon that’s estimated to become more than 75 percent. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese are facing hunger and homelessness on an unprecedented scale. 

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In a towering slum in Tripoli, Mona Bahri lives in three small rooms with her family of nine. She says she can no longer afford to feed them.

"I go to the market and calculate prices, and ask myself 'what can I afford?'" she says.

"My 4-year-old needs milk, but I can't afford to buy it for him anymore. There's nothing affordable. What are we supposed to eat?"

But Bahri's family is one of many left destitute as Lebanon's economy worsens amid the coronavirus crisis.

Our correspondents Leila Molana-Allen and Zeina Antonios filed this report.

 

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