Lebanese pound drops again to 30,000


The Lebanese pound hit a new low against the U.S. dollar on the black market Tuesday, crashing below 30,000 to the greenback.

The exchange rate, which is unofficial but applies to most transactions, had dropped from a record high of LBP 38,000 to LBP 27,300, last month, after Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh issued a statement saying banks would resume exchange operations at the Sayrafa platform rate to “all the holders of Lebanese pounds, be them citizens or institutions, who want to exchange them for U.S. dollars.”

For decades, the Lebanese pound was pegged to the dollar at 1,500, meaning that it has lost around 95 percent of its value in two years.

A financial crisis widely blamed on government corruption and mismanagement has caused the worst economic crisis in Lebanon's history.

The cost of a full tank of petrol now far exceeds the minimum monthly wage, mains electricity comes on barely two hours a day and unaffordable school fees are driving increased student dropouts.

Four out of five Lebanese are now considered poor by the World Bank.

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