In an internal message sent to all its personnel in Lebanon, the United Nations advised its staff to prepare for emergency situations in the weeks to come.
The notice, sent by the U.N. Department of Safety and Security, advised employees and colleagues to stock up on food, water, fuel, baby food, and medicine. The U.N. specified canned products that don’t need refrigeration.
It also urged caution while waiting in queues at gas stations to avoid dangerous situations where violent clashes erupt on a daily basis.
Additionally, the U.N. told its staff to have candles, matches, flashlights, and batteries available in case of excessive power cuts.
Speaking on the basis of anonymity, a source at the U.N. told The961 that this was nothing more than a routine message. “This advisory is sent normally to all staff around the world where there is instability and where emergency situations may occur at any moment,” he said.
The U.N. staff in Lebanon have apparently been receiving notices similar to this since the beginning of the crisis.
While the source reassured that it is no cause for serious concern, it doesn’t change the reality that Lebanon is heading towards a serious downturn in the direction of complete collapse.
The U.N.‘s latest message came at a time when Lebanese are anticipating worsening economic conditions ahead of the removal of subsidies, more shortages in essential goods, fuel, and meds, and perhaps violent reactions as Lebanon’s crisis reaches its steepest downward slope yet.
Back in December, two U.N. agencies, UNICEF and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have warned that Lebanon was heading to a social catastrophe with “no parachute to soften the blow” if subsidies are removed.
The inevitable removal of subsidies is now edging close to its reality, which has prompted Lebanon’s Energy Minister to urge the people to be ready to deal with it.