The Lebanese currency collapsed on Sunday, hitting a new low against the dollar, as the country’s financial crisis and political deadlock persist.

Market traders said the Lebanese pound was trading at around 15,150 to the dollar, losing about 90% of its value at the end of 2019, when Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis erupted.

Lebanon is in the grip of a deep economic crisis which threatens its stability. The World Bank has called it one of the deepest depressions in modern history.

The last time the pound hit a low of 15,000 in March, protesters took to the streets of Lebanon for more than a week, blocking roads with burning tires.

Foreign exchange reserves, used to fund a subsidy program for basic commodities including fuel, medicine and wheat, are running out and shortages have worsened across the board in recent weeks.

Some hospitals exclude elective procedures and only perform emergency surgeries to ration what remains of medical supplies. Most pharmacies have staged a two-day strike this week as drugs run out and long lines for cars for gasoline frustrated motorists, sparking feuds.

The financial collapse takes place amid turbulent political wrangling over the formation of the cabinet.

Prime Minister-designate Salad al-Hariri has disagreed with President Michel Aon over the appointment of ministers since his appointment in October. The former government continued to play the interim role after resigning following the Beirut port explosion on August 4.

Depositors, barred from their dollar accounts since last year, have been promised access starting in July, with each client receiving $ 400 in cash and an equivalent in Lebanese pounds at a rate close to market value.

But the International Monetary Fund on Thursday criticized Lebanon’s proposal to withdraw dollar deposits and a capital control law that has yet to be approved by parliament, saying the two measures would not make sense. than as part of broader reforms.