Beginning of the Lebanese multilayered crisis

Sunday, September 1, 2019 to Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Beginning in the fall of 2019, Lebanon witnesses an unprecedented social, political, and economic crisis that has since been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. On 17 October 2019, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to denounce unsustainable social and economic conditions, demanding the fall of the sectarian regime, calling for social justice, and setting into motion the so-called thawra (revolution). On 7 March 2020, the Government of Lebanon officially announced it would default on its $1.2 billion Eurobond debt. In the meantime, the economic crisis resulted in the development of parallel exchange rates and the depreciation of the Lebanese pound by more than 80% as of March 2021. Estimates suggest that 82% of households currently live under multidimensional poverty in Lebanon (ESCWA 2021).