| 29 September 2021, Wednesday |

UN Concerned About Worsening Humanitarian Situation in Lebanon

The United Nations remains deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Lebanon, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday.

The country is grappling with an economic and financial meltdown, COVID-19, the disastrous impact and aftermath of the Beirut Port explosions a year ago, and the continued impact of the Syrian crisis, it said.

Political deadlock continues to fuel popular protests and is hampering meaningful reform and recovery efforts, it added.

The situation of ordinary people in Lebanon is worsening day by day. Food prices increased by a staggering 400 percent between January and December 2020. Humanitarian needs are increasing among Lebanese and migrants, including in food security and nutrition, health, protection, education and water and sanitation, said OCHA.

At the end of 2020, 19 percent of Lebanese nationals reported the loss of their main sources of income. In March 2021, 78 percent of the population was estimated to be in poverty. More than a third of the Lebanese population is facing extreme poverty, it said.

In parallel, nine out of 10 Syrian refugee families live in extreme poverty, increasing from 55 percent only a year before. The situation is most acute for female-headed households. The estimated 210,000 migrants in Lebanon, who are predominantly female, face high rates of unemployment, food and shelter insecurity, and poor access to drinking water, it said.

At the same time, basic services such as fuel, electricity, health care, and clean water, are in short supply. Most of these services were previously provided through the private sector which is already overstretched due to years of under-investment, said OCHA.