The Lebanese lira is continuing its downward trend against the US dollar, local media have reported. The currency fell to 32,000 lira to the dollar on the black market. The currency is now trading at twenty times the official value of 1,500 to the dollar, having lost more than 95 per cent of its value on the black market in the past two years.
Lebanon's is "one of the world's worst" economic crises. It has pushed three quarters of the population into poverty, according to international institutions. The UN said recently that four out of every five Lebanese citizens are regarded officially as "poor". The World Bank estimates that it might take Lebanon "nearly two decades to recover its pre-crisis per capita Gross Domestic Product."
The crisis is unprecedented. Apart from the currency crash, there is a serious shortage of basic commodities, including fuel and medicine. The purchasing power of ordinary citizens has plummeted, with the minimum monthly wage of 675,000 lira now worth just $22.