Middle East matters

Fighting coronavirus in Iran: Artists call on the US to lift sanctions

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS
MIDDLE EAST MATTERS © FRANCE 24

In Iran, authorities have been pointing the finger at US sanctions for hampering Tehran's efforts to curb the coronavirus outbreak. These punitive measures limit banking activities, which in turn place restrictions on the importing of certain goods, including medical supplies. Our Tehran correspondent Reza Sayah reports from the capital, where leading Iranian artists have joined a growing number of voices calling on the Trump administration to lift those sanctions. 

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Next, Gaza is one of the world's most densely populated and impoverished places. The Palestinian enclave has been under an Israeli blockade for 13 years. Today it’s bracing for the Covid-19 pandemic, which threatens its failing economy, fragile healthcare system, and two million-strong population. Over the past days, local residents have been sending us testimonials, voicing their fears and concerns. We take a listen to some of them.

Finally, in Lebanon, with most people trapped indoors, some are reduced to working remotely, while others are forced into unemployment. The country's economic paralysis, which started long before the coronavirus pandemic, has worsened, putting people's mental health to the test. Today, Lebanon's only hotline for psychological support is inundated with calls. FRANCE 24's Zeina Antonios and Leila Molana-Allen report from Beirut.

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