On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep anxiety about the worsening socio-economic state of Lebanon and called on all “political leaders to urgently form an effective government of national unity,” his spokesperson said.
This is needed to “bring immediate relief, justice and accountability… 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,” UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said.
A two-year-long financial meltdown hit a crunch point in Lebanon this month as fuel shortages paralyzed much of the country, sparking chaos and numerous security incidents.
The crisis has sunk the Lebanese currency by more than 90 percent, forced more than half of Lebanese people into poverty, and frozen depositors out of their accounts. The World Bank has called the deteriorating situation one of the sharpest depressions in modern times.
Lebanon’s government resigned following the Beirut port explosion that inflicted massive damage in the port and surrounding areas. Hassan Diab’s position was filled by Saad al-Hariri, who was tasked to form a government by President Michel Aoun. However, differences between the two ultimately led to the resignation of the former, who was later replaced by Najib Mikati on July 26 as Prime Minister-designate.