Podcast / Middle East & North Africa 1 minutes

Lebanon is Falling Apart

In this episode of Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk with Crisis Group expert Heiko Wimmen about Lebanon’s unprecedented economic meltdown and the threat it poses to the country’s politics, society and stability.

Lebanon is in the midst of what the World Bank describes as what could be one of the worst economic crises of the past 150 years. Over three-quarters of the population have been plunged into poverty, often struggling to obtain food, medicine and basic necessities amid rampant inflation, currency collapse and widespread shortages. State institutions, including the security forces and police, are increasingly strained. Unrest has mounted as political elites defer necessary reform. The newly appointed government has promised to break the deadlock but it is difficult to see the path out of the crisis, especially with elections only months away. 

In this episode of Hold Your Fire! Naz and Richard are joined by Heiko Wimmen, director of Crisis Group’s Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon Project to discuss the country’s plight. They discuss the origins of the crisis, its everyday consequences for Lebanese citizens, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the role played by competing political factions, including Hezbollah. Three decades after the end of the devastating civil war, they ask what Lebanon’s economic implosion means for relations among the country’s sects and assess risks of violence.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Lebanon page. Make sure to look out for our upcoming report on the political and social ramifications of the crisis. 


Executive Vice President
Naz Modirzadeh
Board Member and Harvard Professor of International Law and Armed Conflicts
Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon

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