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Lebanon’s Potential Slide into Despair: An Explainer (AUDIO INTERVIEW)
People gather in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on May 3 to protest against a steep decline in the country’s standard of living. (Ibrahim Chalhoub/AFP via Getty Images)

Lebanon’s Potential Slide into Despair: An Explainer (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

The Media Line speaks with the International Crisis Group’s Heiko Wimmen to better understand how the eastern Mediterranean nation got to where it is

Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade Raoul Nehme told the Abu Dhabi-based daily The National this week that he sees Lebanon hitting a poverty rate of 60% by the end of the year. He blames the coronavirus pandemic for compounding the country’s already heavy economic woes.

The Lebanese government has asked the International Monetary Fund for a $10 billion loan, but the nation has also been foundering under the weight of mass protests calling for a paradigm change in the way the country is run.

The Media Line spoke to Heiko Wimmen, project director for Lebanon, Syria and Iraq at the International Crisis Group, a conflict resolution and prevention organization, about these issues and whether he sees any hope that they can be easily overcome.

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