Cancer of corruption is destroying Lebanon’s soul


After the Beirut port blast last year, the prospect of a failed investigation — let alone two —into responsibility for that monstrous explosion would have provoked global incredulity. More than 200 people died when hundreds of tons of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate fertilizer caught fire in a port warehouse, and exploded. The shockwaves from the world’s largest non-nuclear explosion could be felt as far away as Cyprus, and caused up to $18 billion in damage.


And it could not have happened at a worse time. Lebanon was already facing intensifying crises, sparked by the collapse of what financial experts termed “a state-sponsored Ponzi scheme,” and a worsening pandemic. The Aug. 4 explosion accelerated Lebanon’s downward spiral from a plummeting currency, hyperinflation, political gridlock, and a massive erosion of sovereignty. More than 80 percent of the population is living in multidimensional poverty, lacking lack stable incomes and access…

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