Lebanon protests ‘damaging’ US dollar peg

Lebanese protesters angry at the financial crisis have tried to blockade several streets in Beirut and other Lebanese cities for a second night.

Lebanon’s economic woes, which are shared by its 16 million citizens, have increased since the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The protests against corruption, soaring prices and sky-high unemployment coincided with the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice.

Lebanon is frequently targeted by jihadist groups, notably the Islamic State group, which remains active in parts of the country.

The country’s central bank is the only branch of the Lebanese government to keep its currency pegged to the US dollar.

That economic policy has served Lebanon well. Foreign investment has been an important source of domestic growth.

But now, however, the current economic crisis has weakened the US dollar, making exports to the Gulf more expensive. In addition, Lebanon cannot benefit from cheap credit offered by Gulf lenders, largely because it does not qualify for IMF-approved policies.

Leave a Comment