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UNICEF Lebanon survey: crisis got worse for children in six months

A UNICEF Lebanon survey shows that more children skip meals for lack of food. One in ten is sent to work instead of attending school because of the crisis in the country.

picture of child in Lebanon
For UNICEF Lebanon, children are going to bed hungry and are not receiving the minimum standards of required health care | © UNICEF, Fouad Choufany

On November 2021, UNICEF published a report called “Surviving without the basics: The ever-worsening impact of Lebanon’s crisis on children” in which the figures “show a dramatic deterioration of living conditions among Lebanese children” over the past six months.

UNICEF further stresses out that “hundreds of thousands of children in Lebanon are at risk” and “an entire generation is at stake“.

UNICEF Lebanon elaborated a quick assessment of the situation of children with telephone interviews to 1244 households in April 2021. In October 2021, 838 of these same households took part of the survey (the report doesn’t explain why some of the households didn’t participate again in October).

It turns out from the poll that at least one child in 53% of these families skipped a meal in October because there was not enough food in the house. In April, 37% households were in this situation.

Moreover, 41% had to sell household items such as TV or furniture, up from 33% in April 2021 because of their conditions.

1 in 10 school-age children are sent to work

On top of that, electricity and drinking water are getting more scarce.

In fact, Lebanon’s water sector poses a huge health threat with some 2.8 million people affected by water shortages. More than 45 per cent of the households had insufficient drinking water at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey, as compared with under 20 per cent in April.

The UNICEF Lebanon survey also shows that 9 in 10 families are experiencing electricity cut-offs.

To make things worse, a third of families cut education expenses and 12% sent children to work, up from 9%. About 260,000 of Lebanese children might not get back to school, UNICEF alarms.

Lebanon is struggling with one of the world’s worst economic depressions in modern history, the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the Beirut Port explosions in August 2020.

As a consequence, more than 8 in 10 people live in poverty in Lebanon today, up from 42% in 2019, and 34% are in extreme poverty in 2021 according to a United Nations report.

For the UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, “the staggering magnitude of the crisis must be a wake-up call“.

Read more about Lebanon

Source
Lebanon: UNICEF survey highlights children’s ever-worsening situation , UNICEF, November 2021, Free accessMultidimensional poverty in Lebanon (2019-2021), The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, 2021, Free access, PDF
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