Lebanese troops deploy around Tripoli following protests amid economic crisis

Lebanese troops deploy around Tripoli following protests amid economic crisis
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Lebanese troops were deployed to Tripoli on Sunday following protests over Lebanon’s worsening economic conditions that left 10 soldiers and several protesters injured the night before, The Associated Press reported.

Protests and riots in the cities of Sidon and Tripoli on Saturday stem from the country’s economic crisis and political instability. The AP reports that the country’s currency reached 18,000 pounds to the U.S. dollar on Saturday, a record low. Additionally, since the beginning of the country’s 20-month economic crisis, the currency has lost over 90 percent of its valuation.

The World Bank said earlier this month that the country’s “economic and financial crisis is likely to rank in the top 10, possibly top 3, most severe crises episodes globally since the mid-nineteenth century.”

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Additionally, the World Bank said that it estimated that the country’s real GDP in 2020 had contracted over 20 percent in addition to a GDP contraction of 6.7 percent in 2019.

Over half of people in Lebanon live in poverty, according to AP. Since late 2019, thousands of people have lost work. 

The AP noted that the country has also experienced shortages in critical items like medicine and fuel.

Additionally, the formation of Lebanon’s government has been delayed since October as Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun have failed to reach agreements. According to Reuters, former Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the government’s resignation in August following an explosion at a port warehouse.

The World Bank warned its report that there may be no end in sight for the continued economic and political crisis happening in the country. 

"In the face of colossal challenges, continuous policy inaction and the absence of a fully functioning executive authority threaten already dire socio-economic conditions and a fragile social peace with no clear turning point in the horizon," the World Bank said in its grim report.