The past two years were absolutely not kind in this Medditerian country. The growing economic shocks, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic hit Lebanon hard and left its citizens vulnerable. Thus, Lebanon is on the doorstep of facing its worst humanitarian crisis. Many have lost their jobs while standing witness as their savings evaporate on basic needs.
Minorities and the poor are facing the risks
Vulnerable poor Lebanese citizens, as well as refugees and migrant workers, are scraping to make meets end. Even so, they are increasingly unable to meet their most important basic needs.
The situation is no longer tolerable as the socio-economic crisis spirals out of control. Not only are citizens now facing the risk of losing their homes but also chances are many are going to starve. Thus, in case of such emergencies, the poorest and most vulnerable are the ones who suffer the most.
If the situation continues going at this rate, hundreds of families will be unable to afford to put food on the table or keep a roof above their heads. Furthermore, people who were already living below the poverty line will no longer manage to survive. food and medical imports are bound to dry up as the depreciated Lebanese pound has greatly increased the cost of imported goods. Thus, only the rich will afford to keep their stomach full.
Poverty is prevailing
In the past, only 27% of the Lebanese people were officially poor, with much more barely living above the poverty line. However, the past year has made sure of the increase in the statistics. As of April, the Lebanese government estimates that a staggering 75 percent of the population will be in dire need of humanitarian aid.
Furthermore, in 2019 the unemployment rate used to be 36% of the population. However, now almost one in three Lebanese have reportedly lost their jobs. The COVID pandemic and containment measures along with the acute economic downturn have destroyed thousands of jobs across the country. Hence, Unemployment propels poverty and indebtedness all while poverty and indebtedness propel unemployment. It is a never-ending cycle of misery for the Lebanese and refugees alike.
Moreover, as a third world country, Lebanon doesn’t offer unemployment benefits and only boasts a fragile social security net. Thus, people are left hopeless.
Fear and uncertainty fill the country
Even before the pandemic, citizens were protesting against the corrupt government and the bad living situation. However, the recent chronic mismanagement, corruption, and political stalemate have made citizens even more ferrous than before.thus, as the country is now teetering on the brink of economic collapse, the streets are filled with angry mobs of people. Everyone is fearing the worst.
Moreover, uncertainty is prevailing while the currency keeps losing more than 80 percent of its official value. Thousands of businesses are closing with each passing day and chronic electricity power cuts have turned into the norm.
Furthermore, about 100,000 migrant workers in the country have either lost their jobs, not been paid, or been left homeless. In addition, more of them are unable to pay for healthcare or even send remittances back home to their families. Living in Lebanon for the Lebanese and international citizens alike is getting more and more hard as the days pass.
In brief, Lebanon needs all the help it can get in these trying times. Moreover, many fear famine and civil war if the situation continues to worsen. Thus, many vulnerable lives are at stake.
Lebanon ‘fast spiraling out of control’ leaving many destitute and. (2020, July 12). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/07/1068141
Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence. (2020, January 25). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/01/1055701
More Than One Million Lebanese in Poverty – Fouad Gemayel. (2019, November 20). Commerce Du Levant. https://www.lecommercedulevant.com/article/29443-more-than-one-million-lebanese-in-poverty#:%7E:text=The%20figures%20underline%20the%20sad,live%20below%20the%20poverty%20line.
Yassine, H. (2020, April 26). Unemployment in Lebanon Just Hit 40%. The961. https://www.the961.com/unemployment-in-lebanon-just-hit-40/