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Lebanon crisis

UN chief sounds alarm on Lebanon, calls on political elite to form new government

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UN chief Antonio Guterres called on Lebanon’s political leaders Thursday to form a government and bring “immediate relief” to the country’s people.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deep concern about the rapidly deteriorating socio-economic situation in Lebanon,” Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement.

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Guterres said the Lebanese political elite needed “urgently form an effective government of national unity that can bring immediate relief, justice and accountability to the people of Lebanon and drive an ambitious and meaningful course for reform to restore access to basic services, restore stability, promote sustainable development and inspire hope for a better future.”

Lebanon has been without a government since August 2020 after the Beirut port blast forced Hassan Diab’s government to resign.

Poverty has reached unprecedented levels, shortages of medicines and fuel have sparked violence, and the local currency has plummeted by 90 percent.

The international community has offered to provide badly needed financial aid, but it has demanded a new government and reforms to combat corruption and the waste of public funds.

“The people of Lebanon are struggling every day with hyperinflation, acute shortages of fuel, electricity, medicine and even access to clean water,” Guterres lamented.

Read more: US lawmakers to ask Biden not to deport visitors, students from Lebanon