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Middle East matters

Special edition: Lebanon grapples with worst economic meltdown in years

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS
MIDDLE EAST MATTERS © FRANCE 24
By: Rochelle FERGUSON BOUYAHI | Delano D'SOUZA | Sonia BARITELLO | Alice DE COMARMOND

In this week's show we're turning our attention to Lebanon, a country whose economy has been pushed to the brink of collapse. The Lebanese pound has lost 85 percent of its value since anti-government protests broke out last October. Decades of government corruption and financial mismanagement has resulted in Lebanon reaching a dire situation. We take a closer look at how the crisis is affecting ordinary people.

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When anti-government protests broke out in Lebanon last year, people on the streets said they wanted those in power to look like them. But the power-sharing arrangement in the country is complicated because the political structure is divided along sectarian lines. We find out more with political scientist Aurélie Daher.

As the economic situation worsens, the engine of Lebanon's economy –its middle class – is being hit hard. Staples like beef and chicken have become too expensive, and everyday commodities like laundry detergent and nappies have also become unaffordable. These economic realities have resulted in people going online to barter. Our correspondents Zeina Antonios and Leila Molana-Allen report from Beirut.

And for more on the situation on the ground in Lebanon, we speak to Gaelle Matar, a political activist and founder of the NGO Haddak Men B3id, which translates as "close to you from afar". It delivers food boxes to those in need.

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