A life in a ‘failed state’, Lebanon
At the hospital, medic walks down a dim, humid corridor towards the coronavirus ward where she cares for dozens of patients.
Many hospitals across Lebanon have turned off lights and air conditioners in corridors and administrative areas to save on fuel for generators for operating rooms and patient wards.
Hospital workers regularly finds themselves unable to provide simple treatment for patients due to medicine and equipment shortages.
The Lebanese economy’s downturn doubled the number of families suffering multi-dimensional poverty in two years, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, making 82 percent unable to afford at least one essential service like healthcare and electricity.
Other shortages are disrupting people’s ability to get legal documents processed, such as passports that need to be renewed for travel.
For months, state institutions, ministries and notaries have suffered from a shortage of paper and official stamps for transactions, bills and processing legal documents. This shortage even meant that thousands of official transactions were halted, depriving the treasury of millions of dollars in revenue.
The national minimum wage was once worth almost $450 at the official exchange rate. Today, it is worth approximately $42 on the black market.