The international organization Save the Children, which mission is to help children across the globe, issued a report on the daily harsh realities of Lebanese families.
The report is based on a survey the organization conducted, along with Plan International, in the governorates of Akkar and Baalbek between September and October 2021.
It is important to note here that these 2 regions are deemed the poorest in Lebanon due mainly to a large disregard by those in charge, including the elected officials.
According to the report, poor and upper poor families in these two regions demonstrated a livelihood protection deficit, which is the inability to meet the basic cost of living to afford nutritious food, healthcare, and education, and thus having a severe effect on children:
“Among these households, the gap averages 700,000 LBP per month up to over 1,000,000 LBP per month. It is important to note that significant livelihood protection deficits and low resilience scores are likely to have severe and lasting effects on children.”
The study revealed that 59% of the population of Akkar and 51% of the population of the Baalbek governorate are severely impacted by the ongoing economic crisis.
“Households have reduced capacity to invest in human capital like education; maybe taking on debts; and/or face nutrition deficits as diet diversity decreases and they focus on the consumption of cheap carbohydrates,” the report said.
Families in these regions have been compelled to reduce spending on children’s healthcare and education to ration their spending.
“Prioritizing child-sensitive cash assistance remains one of the most economically and socially sound investments that actors in Lebanon can make to support the survival and development of children,” the report noted.
The organization further indicated that many children in Lebanon are at grave risk of malnutrition due to food prices increasing by 570% since 2020, and the Lebanese pound losing more than 90% of its value.