Lebanese struggling with a handful of scarcity, from gasoline to medication, since the curator does not discuss raising subsidies.
Lebanon’s medical officials said they had run out of hundreds of essential drugs and warned of further shortages if the cash central bank did not release the funds.
Lebanese are struggling with a plethora of shortages, from gasoline to medication, as the interim government discusses raising subsidies that can no longer be afforded amid what the World Bank says is one of the worst financial crises in the world. world since the 1850s.
The local currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value on the black market, but the central bank had provided importers with dollars at the much more favorable official rate to cover a large portion of the cost of imported drugs. .
The medicine “Imports are almost completely stopped in the last month,” the association of drug importers said in a statement Sunday.
“We have run out of stocks of hundreds of medicines from importing companies to treat chronic and incurable diseases,” he warned. “Hundreds more will end by July if we can’t pick up imports as soon as possible.”
The union said the central bank had not released the promised dollars to pay suppliers abroad, which owed more than $ 600 million in fees accrued since December, and that importers could not get new lines of debt. credit.
Union leader Karim Gebara told the AFP news agency some drugs to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis were already out of stock.
If nothing is done “the situation will be catastrophic by the end of July,” depriving “hundreds of thousands of patients” of their medications, he warned.
On Thursday, President Michel Aoun said he, outgoing ministers and the head of the central bank had agreed to “continue to subsidize medicines and medical supplies” chosen by the health ministry according to priority.
The government resigned after a deadly port explosion on August 4, but a deeply divided political class has failed since the agreement on a new cabinet to drive the nation out of crisis.