Economic and political crisis in Lebanon: families are even more vulnerable

Caritas International Belgium Economic and political crisis in Lebanon: families are even more vulnerable

© Isabel Corthier – Lebanon’s health services are collapsing under the pressure. Caritas is able to offer health services to the people with our mobile clinics.

© Isabel Corthier – Lebanon’s health services are collapsing under the pressure. Caritas is able to offer health services to the people with our mobile clinics.

06/02/2020

Empty shelves in supermarkets, staggering unemployment and political unrest create a grim picture of the current situation in Lebanon. The daily struggles and hardships push many people to speak out. Since October, demonstrations have multiplied, with two main points on the agenda: denounce the strong inequalities and demand a new government. However, at the moment Lebanon remains in chaos and uncertainty.

“It’s really chaos in Lebanon at the moment,” explains Sébastien Dechamps who is responsible for our projects in the Middle East. “Caritas Lebanon is struggling to keep up with the requests for help…But it still continues to function- barely, but it continues.”

Shortages in health care services

During this crisis, Lebanese health care services are once again under pressure. Hospitals are in danger of going out of business because the funds are running out… They’re unable to pay staff and buy medicine[1].

For its part, Caritas is doing everything it can to maintain its primary care centers. People who are unable to get to the centers can count on Caritas mobile clinics.

>>ALSO READ: Mobile clinics meet urgent medical needs

As food, medicine and health care become less accessible, unemployment and inflation increase. These can have drastic psychological consequences on people; therefore Caritas also offers free consultations for people who have psychological difficulties.

©Isabel Corthier – Mobile clinic at the Migrant Center in Taalabaya (2016)

More people in poverty

“In recent years, we have seen people, Lebanese, who previously were donors and volunteers for Caritas, fall into need,” Dayane Daou, the head of the health care department of Caritas Lebanon, reported last summer. Today, her observation resonates even more vividly in the light of this crisis.

In January 2019, a UN report stated that 28.5% of Lebanese are living below the poverty line. Since then, the situation has worsened and it is unlikely to improve…Case in point: the recent budget cuts by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

In addition, a shortage of dollars complicated the importation of essential products such as food. We see apocalyptic scenes where the shelves remain empty for several days, especially in the rural areas.

>>ALSO READ: Lebanon: an increase in vulnerabilities

Caritas Lebanon has already distributed more than 3,000 food parcels. Young people collected these parcels; some of them are associated with other local collection campaigns. “And they continue to collect food and basic necessities to distribute to those who need it most,” says Sébastien Dechamps.


You too can help. Make a donation today on the BE88 0000 0000 4141 account (by writing LIBAN in communication) or on our online platform. Thank you in Advance.

Footnote :

1

Human Rights Watch, “Lebanon: Hospital Crisis Endangering Health”, December 2019, accessed 05/02/2020.

2

Lebanese authorities and the UN: Lebanon crisis response plan 2017 – 2020, January 2019, consulted on 08/22/2019.

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