The people who have been the most affected by the economic crisis that the COVID-19 outbreak has amplified are not new to the life of despair. But the most heartbreaking part of their suffering is probably the fact that many of them refuse help in order to save face.
That’s exactly what caused Al-Jadeed’s reporter, Aline Hallak, to break down on live television while reporting from one of the poor Lebanese neighborhoods that the “صامدون” (Withstanding) aid campaign is covering.
Hallak has been covering Al-Jadeed’s campaign since it started on Saturday morning. The campaign is being carried out in collaboration with several non-governmental organizations, including Caritas, the Lebanese Red Cross, and others.
On that particular day, Hallak, who was accompanying the collaborators, would come face to face with the pain of poverty as she interviewed some of the people affected by the economic crisis, hence targeted by the food rations of the campaign.
After witnessing first-hand the misery of the poor families of Lebanon, and how they are struggling for their daily loaf of bread, her emotions got the best of her on camera.
“The situation is very tragic in different Lebanese areas,” Hallak sobbed out before pausing to collect herself. “There are people suffering in silence,” she continued, “and they refuse to raise their voices to preserve their dignity.”
She said that these people, who prefer to keep their hardships to themselves than advertise them before the public, are the poorest and most pained. “You can’t imagine how much they’re suffering,” she added before bursting again into tears.
The Withstanding campaign, which was funded by the donations of over 21,000 people, distributed the first batch of food rations among the neediest people across all governorates.
To avoid causing people embarrassment, the supplies were handed off-camera and, in many cases, the boxes were left at the household’s doorstep to preserve its privacy.
2,500 rations were handed out on Saturday, April 4th, out of a total of around 25,000 that the donations should equate to. The rest will be processed and distributed in the coming weeks in new areas and neighborhoods across Lebanon.
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