Coca-Cola fizzles out in Lebanon with economic downturn

Coca-Cola fans could opt to shift their loyalty to PepsiCo with the impending cessation of its rival’s operations in Lebanon. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 01 May 2020

Coca-Cola fizzles out in Lebanon with economic downturn

  • NBC, the beverage maker’s distributor in Lebanon, said the critical economic situation has forced it to make the difficult decision
  • All of Coca-Cola’s products, including Sprite, Fanta and Diet Coke would also be affected

DUBAI: Coca-Cola spirit has fizzled out in Lebanon and would be shuttering its operation on May 31 as prospects from the country’s continuous economic decline remained gloomy.
“You have all become certain that the company has been experiencing critical challenges and difficulties, yet was able to overcome some of them although it recorded an accumulated set of losses,” National Beverage Company (NBC), Aujan said in a statement.

NBC, the beverage maker’s distributor in Lebanon, said the critical economic situation has forced it to make the difficult decision. With the closure of operations, all of Coca-Cola’s products, including Sprite, Fanta and Diet Coke would also be affected.

“Due to the current deteriorating economic conditions in the country, which paralyzed the economic activity, especially the process of importing raw materials for industrialization and making bank transfers abroad,” the company said in statement.

The Lebanese government on Thursday agreed on an economic reform roadmap, paving the way for negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and other international partners and possibly free up pledges that have been pending since 2018.

Coca-Cola fans could however opt to shift their loyalty to rival PepsiCo who is keeping its operations in the country and could benefit its products such as 7-Up and Miranda with the impending cessation of Coca-Cola operations in Lebanon.


Yemen’s UNESCO-listed Old Sanaa houses collapse in heavy rains

Updated 35 min 37 sec ago

Yemen’s UNESCO-listed Old Sanaa houses collapse in heavy rains

  • Distinctive brown and white mud brick houses of Sanaa’s historic neighborhoods have long been under threat from conflict and neglect
SANAA: Houses in Yemen’s UNESCO-listed Old City of Sanaa are collapsing under heavy rains, as months of floods and storms assail a country already reeling from war, food shortages and disease.
The distinctive brown and white mud brick houses of Sanaa’s historic neighborhoods, which date from before the 11th century, have long been under threat from conflict and neglect.
Muhammad Ali Al-Talhi’s house partially collapsed on Friday as heavy rain battered Sanaa, leaving the six women and six children of his family homeless.
“Everything we had is buried,” he said surrounded by ancient debris and mud, appealing for help to find shelter.
Aqeel Saleh Nassar, deputy head of the Historic Cities Preservation Authority, said citizens today do not maintain these old buildings as in the past, leading to cracks and weakness.
Around 5,000 of the towering buildings in the old city have leaky roofs and 107 have partially collapsed roofs, he said. The authority has been working with UNESCO and other funds to preserve some.
This year’s exceptionally heavy rains, which began mid-April and last into early September, have added to what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Five years of war have killed more than 100,000 people, and left 80 percent of the population reliant on aid and millions on the brink of famine.
On top of the new coronavirus, which is believed to be spreading largely undetected, heavy rains spread diseases like cholera, dengue fever and malaria.
The Iran-aligned Houthi authorities who have controlled Sanaa since ousting the internationally recognized Saudi-backed Yemeni government in late 2014, appealed this week to UNESCO to save the city’s heritage.
They said around 111 houses had partly or completely collapsed in recent weeks.
Sanaa resident Adel San’ani on Saturday told Reuters he saw five houses severely damaged this weekend.
“The families have no shelter. A local bank launched a campaign to distribute plastic sheeting to act as roofs,” he said.