Lebanon’s public debt is equivalent to around 751 trillion Lebanese pounds at the black-market exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, a new report by the Beirut-based Information International research company shows.
According to the report, which cites official data, as of March 2021, Lebanon’s total public debt amounted to $97.26 billion, distributed as follows:
- $60.58 billion in Lebanese pounds (62.2%)
- $36.68 billion in foreign currencies (37.8%), calculated according to the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to the Lebanese pound on the black market, instead of the official exchange rate
- The public debt is reduced from $97.26 billion to $41.75 billion, a decrease of $55.51 billion, or 57%
Due to the depreciation of the Lebanese pound against the dollar, the equivalent value of the foreign currency debt in Lebanese pounds has recently increased, reaching around LBP 751.564 trillion, as of July 7th when the exchange rate on the black market was around LBP 18,000 per U.S. dollar.
At the time of writing, the exchange rate is fluctuating around LBP 19,500 for a single dollar.
The report is concluded with the important question of how the Lebanese government will repay this debt, which is equal to its income over 40 years, according to current income figures.
This is one testament to the true depth of the economic crisis enveloping Lebanon and the size of the challenge facing the collapsing country.