About three-quarters of Lebanon’s population has plunged below the poverty line, a new policy brief by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has revealed.
The brief, “Multidimensional Poverty in Lebanon: Painful Reality and Uncertain Prospects,” indicates that the poverty rate in Lebanon has reached about 74%.
The rate rises to 82% of the population when access to health, education, and public services is taken into account, according to ESCWA.
This comes a year after ESCWA warned that poverty was affecting 55% of the population of the crisis-hit country between 2019 and 2020.
The new data points to a nearly-doubled multidimensional poverty rate between 2019 (42%) and 2021 (82%).
Additionally, 34% of the population is affected by extreme multidimensional poverty, according to the report.
In the wake of this information, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti stressed the necessity of establishing a social solidarity fund to provide aid to the people of Lebanon.
“Mitigating the impact of the crisis requires solidarity and cooperation between all segments of the Lebanese society,” Dashti stated.
Poverty has risen sharply alongside inflation in Lebanon, which skyrocketed to 281% between June 2019 and June 2021, severely impacting the living conditions of Lebanese nationals and non-Lebanese residents.