Over the last two years, inflation has directly impacted the Lebanese people’s lives. As a result, the middle class, which was the majority in the country, is now almost non-existent. Those belonging to the lower-middle class or were near-poor became even poorer on multi-dimensional levels.
Children are also facing the consequences of the current economic crisis and the aftermath of the Beirut Blast that resulted in many problems.
UNICEF Lebanon issued a report concerning the violence that Lebanese children are facing every day.
Due to the rising poverty, many children are facing the consequences of bad politics and corruption. The poverty line has doubled from 2019 until 2021.
The report further explains: “More and more families are struggling to provide food for their children. 53 percent of families surveyed by UNICEF in October had at least one child who had skipped a meal in the past 30 days.”
“The number of Lebanese households questioned who are sending their children to work had increased by seven times within the same period.”
The data revealed in the report is worrying. About 4% of Lebanese girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are married and the percentage might increase in case no reforms take place.
The situation is even more alarming with babies being abandoned in the streets, according to the report: “UNICEF partners have highlighted destitute families abandoning babies in the streets and children facing increased risk of abduction.”
“Lebanon has already one of the highest rates of institutionalization of children in the world – estimated at over 20,000 children in residential homes,” the report noted.
UNICEF warns that “at least one million children in Lebanon are at risk of direct violence.” The international organization pointed in that regard to the decline in social services, along with other factors like the increasing stress at home and the disruption of regular school routine due to lockdowns.
Domestic violence against women has similarly increased, UNICEF warns.