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Thursday, February 2, 2023

The consequences of the explosion in Beirut, two years later


The explosions in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020 shook the whole world. The detonation of 2.7 billion tons of ammonium nitrate destroyed the city center, killing 218 people and injuring more than 7,000. But these were not the only consequences of the Beirut disaster. Years earlier, the country had gone through a major economic and social crisis with the assassination of political figures, the resignation of government offices and large demonstrations. The Beirut port disaster was only the trigger for a crisis that triggered a massive financial collapse: in 2022, the Lebanese pound lost 90% of its value compared to 2019.

In this context, many Lebanese continue to grapple with the aftermath of the 2020 Beirut disaster. In the video accompanying this story, you can meet Liliane Cheaito, a 28-year-old woman who was almost completely paralyzed after the blast. He is now being treated at the American University Medical Center in Beirut, a private hospital, as the treatment he needs is not available in the Lebanese public health system. She is lucky: her hospitalization is covered by the centre’s own foundation, if her family had to pay for it they would have to use their savings, but high inflation has meant that Lebanese savings have lost between 80% and 90% of their value to Fouad Debs, co-founder of a platform for savers affected by the banking system. Liliane’s sister Nawan Cheaito sums up her situation with these words: “They took our money, they take away our access to health and women’s rights. Liliane represents all these cases because she suffers from them. She truly represents the agony of the Lebanese people.”

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Source elpais.com

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