On 16 March 2021, anti-government demonstrators angry about the continuing devaluation of the Lebanese currency closed roads across the capital Beirut, including near the American University of Beirut and in the Koraytem neighborhood, an upscale area located southwest of the Central District. Protesters also burned tires near the Banque Du Liban and vandalized windows of grocery stores. Over the last two weeks, the exchange rate has risen from 10,000 Lebanese pounds to the U.S. dollar, to 15,000 pounds to the dollar, prompting some grocery stores to close. In the northern city of Tripoli, demonstrators marched to politicians’ homes and damaged the security cameras installed at the residences. Other demonstrators blocked primary throughfares linking major regions in the country, including roads in the southern city of Naqoura — located along the coast near the Israeli border.

Analyst Comment: It is highly likely that protests will intensify in Lebanon over the coming months due to impending subsidy cuts. Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has announced that money for fuel subsidies will run out by the end of March and that the government will be able to fund other subsidies of food and medicine only until June 2021.