Escalating crisis in Lebanon puts children at risk: UNICEF


“With no improvement in sight, more children than ever are going to bed hungry in Lebanon,” said Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF representative in Lebanon.

“Children’s health, their education and their very future are affected as prices skyrocket and unemployment continues to rise,” she said. “More and more families are forced to resort to negative accommodation measures, including sending their children to work in often dangerous and dangerous conditions, marrying their young daughters or selling their property.”

UNICEF said its investigation found that:

– More than 30 percent of children went to bed hungry and skipped meals in the past month.

– Seventy-seven percent of households do not have enough food or enough money to buy food. In Syrian refugee households, the figure reaches 99%.

– Sixty percent of households have to buy food on credit or borrow money.

– Thirty percent of children do not receive the primary health care they need, while 76 percent of households said they were affected by the massive increase in drug prices.

– One in 10 children has been sent to work.

– Forty percent of children come from families where no one is working and 77 percent come from families that do not receive any social assistance.

– Fifteen percent of families have dropped out of their children’s education.

– Eighty percent of caregivers said their children had difficulty concentrating on their studies at home – which could indicate hunger or mental distress.

The protracted economic depression is just one of the aggravating crises in Lebanon, which is reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the massive explosion at the port of Beirut in August 2020, as well as instability persistent policy. While the 1.5 million Syrian refugees are the hardest hit, the number of Lebanese in need of assistance is growing rapidly, UNICEF said.

“The World Bank has described what is happening in Lebanon as possibly one of the three major economic collapses since the mid-19th century. What the UNICEF survey shows is that children are paying the price for this escalating disaster, ”Mokuo noted.

UNICEF reiterated its call on national authorities to implement a major expansion of social protection measures, to ensure access to quality education for every child and to strengthen both primary health care and child protection services.

“Determined and concerted action is essential to alleviate suffering, especially among the most vulnerable, who are trapped in a spiral of poverty,” Mokuo said. UNICEF is expanding its program and, with the support of the donor community, the agency will be ready to help more children and families. “The well-being and protection of children must be a top priority to ensure that their rights are respected at all times,” she said. and operation. Children are an investment, the ultimate investment, in the future of a nation.

The Lebanese parliament on Wednesday approved charge cards for the poorest to cushion the gradual collapse in subsidies due to the economic crisis, although officials have yet to guarantee funding for the program.

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