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Cash-strapped Lebanon struggles amid the coronavirus crisis

Various sectors in Lebanon, a country grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades, have been hit hard by the measures imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Lebanon’s already strained economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the Lebanese government on March 15 to impose a state of general mobilization as part of efforts to contain the outbreak. Hotels, restaurants, and land and seaports have been completely shut down, according to a study prepared by former Finance Minister Georges Corm and published on the Lebanese army website. The study noted that the country’s service sectors are more lucrative than the productive, agricultural and industrial sectors.

According to estimates cited by The Los Angeles Times, the shutdown is costing Lebanon $2.5 billion every month. On April 15, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Lebanon’s real gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 6.5% in 2019 and inflation would hit 17% for 2020 versus 2.9% the year before. The IMF also expects Lebanon’s GDP to shrink 12% this year.

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