The cabinet hopes to raise an additional $219 million for its debt-ridden budget. Lebanon has been running a deficit of 150 percent of its gross domestic product and has been looking for ways to slash spending.
“The interruptions because of the lack of cash dollars, the lockdowns abroad, we’re going to see the impact in two months,” said Nabil Fahed, an importer who heads the supermarket syndicate. “The supplies will not be there…I’m really worried about this”.
Likewise, President of the Beqaa Farmers Association Ibrahim Tarshishi told Xinhua that farmers cannot withdraw their money or transfer any cash to foreign countries to buy pesticides and equipment due to banks’ restrictions while banks no longer offer loans to farmers to enable them to maintain their operations.
Expatriates returning to Lebanon are seen in quarantine in a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 8, 2020. Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 infections increased on Wednesday by 27 to 575 while the death toll remained unchanged at 19, the National News Agency reported. (Photo by Bilal Jawich/Xinhua)
Baytna Baytak — Arabic for “my house is your house” — aims to house medical staff next to their workplace by connecting them with nearby hosts. By easing the pressure of dealing with housing in Beirut and elsewhere in Lebanon, it hopes that healthcare workers can feel free to focus on their work.
Reporting by Ban Barkawi @banbarkawi, Menna A. Farouk; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org
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