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Lebanese currency drops to a new record low

The Lebanese pound crosses the symbolic threshold of 30,000 to the dollar on the black market in a new record low, according to websites monitoring the exchange rate.

The pound now trades at 20 times the official peg value of 1,500 pounds to the greenback, with no end in sight to the economic and political crisis plunging ever-growing numbers into poverty.

The currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value on the black market in the past two years. The purchasing power of people has plummeted, and the minimum monthly wage of 675,000 pounds is now worth just $22.

In this January 14, 2020 file photo, anti-government protesters smash a bank widow during protests against the Lebanese central bank’s governor and against the deepening financial crisis, in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP/Hussein Malla)

Activists have called for rallies outside the central bank headquarters in Beirut on Saturday to protest the devaluation of the currency.

According to the United Nations, four in five Lebanese are now considered poor. The World Bank estimates it may take Lebanon nearly two decades to recover its pre-crisis per capita GDP.

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