Students in Lebanon held a walkout on Wednesday to join ongoing national protests over the government's plan to tax Internet calls.
In the capital city of Beirut, hundreds of students blocked traffic and protested at branches of the Lebanese University while dancing and waving flags.
The students joined protests targeting public institutions such as the Education Ministry, Central Bank and state-run electric company Electricite du Liban.
Meanwhile, the World Bank Group expressed support for the people of Lebanon in a meeting with Lebanese President Michael Aoun.
World Bank Regional Director Saroj Kumar Jha said the group projected a small recession in 2019 for Lebanon, but expected an even greater recession due to increasing economic and financial pressures and declining confidence in the economy amid the unrest.
"I met with the president to urge swift and timebound measures to ensure Lebanon's economic and financial stability. The politics has the most attention but economy has the most risks," Jha said. "With every passing day, the situation is becoming more acute and this would make recovery extremely challenging."
The protests began Oct. 17 in response to a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other Internet call services as well as a hike in the value-added tax, but have expanded to include calls for politicians to be held accountable for economic mismanagement and alleged corruption.
Last week, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation in response to the protests, saying the country needs "a big shock to counter this crisis."
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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