Graffiti near Beirut's port, Lebanon, August 2020
Hannah McKay / Reuters

Beirut is still recovering from an explosion that killed nearly 200 people and wounded thousands more on August 4. The blast decimated vast swaths of the capital, leaving 300,000 residents homeless. Major elements of Beirut’s infrastructure, such as its port, will need repairs that the state cannot afford.

Lebanon was in crisis even before the explosion. COVID-19 infection rates were rising—since the blast, they have doubled. Lockdowns have devastated the Lebanese economy, including the country’s once vibrant banking sector, which is now insolvent. Moreover, Lebanon has the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, mainly Syrians and Palestinians.

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