State of Collapse

When the dockyards in Beirut shook in that terrible explosion in August of 2020, I wrote,

“There may not be enough willing partners in the world to make Beirut whole. Could Beirut turn out to be the first human-caused, post-apocalyptic scorched hole in the earth? Might it just be abandoned as beyond repair by those who can – like much of the governing class? What of those left behind?”

Sixteen months later, how’s it going? Monocle reports:

“The value of the Lebanese pound has plummeted from 1,500 to the US dollar to 24,000. Many residents with the option to flee abroad have done so; almost 40 per cent of the country’s doctors have left. The medical system has disintegrated, with basic life-saving medicines scarce. Those left behind have had to live with as little as an hour of mains power a day (pictured) and the rocketing price of petrol, when it’s available, has made transport a luxury reserved for the wealthy. The UN estimates that by January, 80 per cent of the population will be living in abject poverty and facing severe food insecurity.”

Read the rest of the Monocle article. Photo credit: New York Times

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