Lebanon’s economic collapse is driving criminality, with armed disputes taking an increasingly sectarian tone and sparking fears of civil strife, experts and politicians have told The National. Sectarian tensions have always existed in Lebanon, ravaged by 15 years of civil war until 1990, but such incidents have multiplied in the past months in a country awash with weapons.
The head of one of Lebanon's most powerful security agencies ordered his officers to stand firm in the face of a national crisis that could be protracted, warning of the chaos that would ensue if the state collapsed.
Families in Lebanon are now spending five times the minimum wage on food alone, a report found Wednesday, as inflation caused by the country's worst-ever economic crisis continues to soar. The Mediterranean country is battling what the World Bank has described as one of the planet's worst financial crises since the 1850s, which has left more than half the population living below the poverty line.