In the aftermath of the Beirut explosions one year ago, a series of crises have left families in Lebanon struggling. And children are bearing the brunt.
Amid a recession and global pandemic, parents are being forced to make impossible choices just to meet their basic needs. Children are going hungry, missing out on school and lack access to health care.
With no end in sight to the devastating crisis, children’s health and safety are at risk and their very future is at stake.
Families are struggling to cope
Falling income and sky-rocketing prices are putting children’s lives on the line. In December 2020, food prices surged by 400 per cent. Seventy seven per cent of households said they did not have enough food or enough money to buy food, according to a recent UNICEF assessment.
Many families have no choice but to resort to negative coping mechanisms to survive, such as sending their children to work or stopping their education to put food on the table. One in 10 children has been sent to work.
Right now, UNICEF is on the ground to support children and their families - but we can’t do this without you.
Children gather to sell water, clean car windows and ask for money. Over the past year, the sight of children working on the streets in Lebanon has become virtually commonplace. © UNICEF/UN0482360
“With no improvement in sight,
more children than ever before are
going to bed hungry in Lebanon.”
Education in crisis
In 2020 alone, school closures forced more than 1.2 million children out of school. Making matters worse, the devastating Beirut explosions damaged hundreds of education facilities, affecting more than 77,000 students.
While schools adapted quickly with distance learning, 25 per cent of families could not afford the tools needed, such as computer and internet access.
How you can help children in Lebanon
- $85 can help to provide essential learning equipment to help give more children access to education.
- $160 can help to provide two emergency sanitation kits packed with water purification tablets, buckets and portable water containers to supply safe drinking water for two families.
- $260 can help to provide 630 vaccines to protect children against measles and polio.
A woman being evacuated in Beirut on 4 August. Thousands were injured in the horrific blast, with hospitals now struggling to cope.
What happened in Beirut?
On 4 August 2020, two explosions tore through the city of Beirut. The chemical explosion sent shockwaves throughout the city, causing multiple casualties and widespread damage.
Up to 300,000 people were without homes after they were damaged or destroyed, and an estimated 100,000 children were affected.
How UNICEF is helping in Lebanon
No matter the challenges, UNICEF remains in Lebanon before, during and after the crisis, providing life-saving support. Our teams are working around the clock to support children and families:
- Rehabilitating damaged schools to help get children back to school
- Cash payments to help families meet their basic needs
- Addressing malnutrition and lack of access to clean water
- Mental health and psychosocial support for children
- Supporting the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and providing personal protective equipment
Please help us provide life-saving assistance to affected children and their families.
“We don’t even have enough money to cover the basics, and medicines are now out of our reach”, says Hamad. The father of four and his family live in an informal settlement. His children are third generation Lebanese of Palestinian heritage. © UNICEF/UN0482288
Your donation will go directly towards funding UNICEF's work to support children and families in Lebanon.