Lebanon’s police clear protest camps in Beirut as coronavirus curfew takes effect

Lebanon’s police clear protest camps in Beirut as coronavirus curfew takes effect
Protestors told local media that police came at 6:30 p.m. without any warning and told them to leave immediately. (File/AFP)
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Updated 28 March 2020

Lebanon’s police clear protest camps in Beirut as coronavirus curfew takes effect

Lebanon’s police clear protest camps in Beirut as coronavirus curfew takes effect
  • Coronavirus has so far killed eight people and infected 391
  • The protest camps have been a permanent fixture in Downtown Beirut since anti-government protests

Lebanese riot police cleared dozens of protesters camps in Downtown Beirut on Friday evening as the country’s curfew measures came into effect, local media reported.

Protestors told local media, The Daily Star, that police came at 6:30 p.m. without any warning and told them to leave immediately.

“When people refused, they attacked and destroyed every tent,” one protester told the daily.

The protest camps have been a permanent fixture in Downtown Beirut since nationwide anti-government protests erupted on Oct. 17 last year.

Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad said on Thursday that the coronavirus lockdown measures would be extended by an additional two weeks and announced the introduction of a curfew between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time.

Coronavirus lockdown measures were first introduced on March 15 and were due to end by March 29 but have now been extended until April 12 as the country continues to battle against the virus. The virus has so far killed eight people and infected 391.


Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister

Updated 03 December 2020

Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister

Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister
  • The rise had impacted on each individual’s share of education, health, and available resources, affecting overall demographics: minister

CAIRO: Egypt’s 14-fold population increase between 1882 and 2017 had created a “national problem” that required urgent attention, a government minister has said.

Deputy Minister of Health and Population Tarek Tawfik revealed that over the 135-year period the number of people living in the country had shot up from 6.7 million to 94.8 million.

The rise had impacted on each individual’s share of education, health, and available resources, affecting overall demographics, he added.

“(The population increase) is a national problem that needs to be solved through the collaboration of efforts between all the ministries, governmental, and non-governmental institutions, and the civil society,” Tawfik said.

He pointed out that the Egyptian National Population Council was currently drafting public policy documentation in collaboration with The American University in Cairo (AUC) aimed at resolving some of the country’s population-related issues.

Plans in the pipeline included awareness campaigns on family sizes, food and water security, and sustainability.

The council’s former rapporteur, Dr. Amr Hassan, said that a family planning project due to be launched early next year, would help to cut the birth rate in Egypt by 1 million.

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Leslie Reed, AUC President Francis Joseph Ricciardone, and Tawfik recently launched the Strengthening Egypt’s Family Planning Program (SEFPP) youth competition, part of a $31 million initiative previously signed with the USAID to improve population health results.

Al-Mashat said that improving general healthcare, reproductive health, and family planning services were key to achieving economic empowerment for men and women.

She pointed out that the SEFPP youth competition was aimed at paving the way for the implementation of new and effective solutions to the issues and involved the Egyptian government, educational institutions and universities, youth, and civil society organizations represented by the USAID.

The program was designed to tackle the over-population problem through innovative techniques, developing youth ideas on family planning schemes, and raising awareness throughout the country.