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finance & economyApril 14, 2021

Lebanese Scale Back Ramadan Meals amid Soaring Inflation

Muslims in many parts of the world marked the start of Ramadan on Tuesday, but a spike in coronavirus cases in several countries has once again put curbs on the holy month's signature feasts and lengthy prayers in mosques.

In Lebanon, most Muslims began Ramadan on Tuesday amid soaring inflation. The small country is in the grips of the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history, with the Lebanese currency losing some 80% of its value against the U.S. dollar in past months.

The crisis -- a result of decades of endemic corruption and mismanagement -- has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Many people were having to scale back their Ramadan preparations.

'We cannot buy anything. We ask how much the lettuce is, the cucumber and the tomato,' said Samiyeh al-Turk at a busy open air market in Beirut Monday.

'How we are going to get through the month of Ramadan? I don't know,' she added.