The spike in the prices of basic hygiene products has turned these necessities into luxuries for many in Lebanon.
Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, tissues, mouthwash, shampoo, deodorant, razor, laundry detergent, and even sanitary pads and menstrual tissues have significantly increased in prices in the past months, which has compelled people to let go of some of these products.
As the Lebanese Lira/US Dollar exchange rate increases, the price of these essential products increases, too. Their prices today cost about 10 times what they used to cost at the onset of the economic crisis in 2019.
Toothpaste, which used to cost 3,000 LBP, can now go up to 70,000 LBP for some brands. Good brand shampoo costs 50,000 LBP, deodorant 60,000 LBP, and a box of tissues 25,000 LBP.
This issue is becoming alarming considering that good personal hygiene is crucial against bacteria, diseases, and even viruses such as Covid-19.
The continued collapse of the Lebanese Lira is expected to make hygiene products even more difficult to acquire, which raises fears of more public health crises.
According to the NGO Fe-Male, “the already existing hyperinflation in the prices of sanitary products (a 500% increase) has limited 66% of young women and girls living in Lebanon from buying sanitary pads, and the percentage is still in increase.”
Adding to the economic collapse in Lebanon that is hitting people more than the apparent, major global producers of hygiene and cleaning products are also planning to increase their prices worldwide.
According to Wall Street Journal back in April, Procter & Gamble, which is one of the biggest consumer-products companies in the world, “will start charging more for household staples from diapers to tampons,” by September.
NGOs in Lebanon continue with their attempts to help out, although they are not spared by the economic crisis crippling the country.
Moreover, the phenomenon of massive support from the people to the people witnessed during the first year of the Lebanese Revolution and in the aftermath of the Beirut Blast is no longer evident on social media as it used to be.
For the Lebanese people, a new government for the reforms urgently needed to save the country has become an elusive concept.
For almost a year now, they have been watching in mounting anger and frustration as the ruling body persists in giving top priority to sectarian and political power shares, obstructing as such the formation of a rescue government.