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CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 30 June 2021

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The Lebanese pound (LBP) hit a new low this week because of further economic deterioration and depletion of state budget, losing about 33% of its value in one month. It is trading at around 17,000 LBP/USD on the black market, while the official rate remains at 1,507 LBP/USD. Fuel is imported at a higher rate than the official one, resulting in higher petrol prices; costly petrol will likely push the cost of basic goods even higher. Depreciation of the Lebanese pound and worsening living conditions have sparked demonstrations across the country, particularly in Tripoli. About half of Lebanese households already faced challenges in meeting their basic needs and 22% of Lebanese households were food insecure in March-April 2021. People from North, Akkar, Baalbek El Hermel, and El Nabatiyeh governorates reported the highest level of food insecurity. Tentative projections suggest that over half the population in Lebanon is below the poverty line.

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Over 1,300 civil disobedience movement (CDM) supporters fled to Dooplaya district in Kayin state since March to escape arrest by the military junta. The displaced CDM members are former government employees and are currently in areas under the control of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). The needs of the displaced are not clear; however, protection and livelihoods are a particular concern for CDM members. The civil disobedience movement continues to exert pressure on the military junta through ongoing strikes. The health and education systems are largely affected, particularly amid rising COVID-19 cases, and low school attendance and suspension of teachers. Over 5,000 protestors and CDM supporters continue to be detained since the coup and arrest warrants have been issued for nearly 2,000 people. Protests in Myanmar are ongoing, especially in Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, and Yangon regions.

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More than 1,000 families (around 4,200 people) fled their homes in the towns of Guindulungan and Talayan, Maguindanao province, as a result of clashes between the Philippine armed forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on 20 June. Some 560 families (around 2,800 IDPs) staying in tents in two evacuation sites in Talayan received core relief items on 27 June. Information on other needs is not available. Armed clashes continue to escalate in these communities, affecting returns and disrupting rice-harvesting livelihoods of the displaced, who are mostly farmers. On 17 June an anti-narcotics security operation was conducted in Talayan that seized around USD70,000 worth of illegal drugs. It is not clear if there is a connection to the clashes on 20 June; however, the shadow drug and weapon economy and government response continue to contribute to conflict and displacement in Mindanao.

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