Protests break out across Lebanon against worsening living conditions, currency collapse

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Protests broke out across Lebanon against deteriorating living conditions and the collapse of the local currency, the National News Agency reported.

Protesters blocked roads in the capital Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, Zahle and in Mount Lebanon on Monday with burning tires and waste containers, preventing citizens from reaching their workplaces and prompting some schools to shut their doors.

The nationwide protests came after the collapse of the local currency to 25,000 Lebanese pounds per US dollar as opposed to the old official rate of 1,500 pounds, Xinhua news agency reported.

Activists and civil society members on Sunday circulated messages on social media calling on citizens to join the protests.

Lebanon has been reeling under the worst financial crisis in its history with unemployment rate expected to rise above 40 per cent in 2021 and poverty rate estimated at 78 per cent by the United Nations.

The country has initiated talks with the International Monetary Fund in hopes of unlocking billions of dollars in funds to save its crippling economy.

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