In the last few months Lebanon is facing a compounded crisis: the economic and financial collapse, the political impasse, the massive explosion that caused a real human tragedy in August and the destruction of the port of Beirut (dense residential and commercial areas nearby), will have negative long-term implications at the national level.
Last but not least, the emergency caused by Covid-19 pandemics has exacerbated the structural vulnerabilities of the country. Lockdown led to the dramatic rise in unemployment and in essential goods’ prices. According to the World Health Organization the deaths caused by the Virus have been more than 5000 so far and the vaccination campaign is just beginning. Lebanese authorities have extended internal closures of commercial activities and transports till March 2021. Controls of armed and security forces have increased because protest demonstrations and roadblocks are even more likely, leading to tensions and violence.
Almost three quarters of households do not have sufficient resources to afford the costs of food, shelter, medical care and education. Almost a quarter of the citizens wants to emigrate and at the same time the life of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is characterized by fear, desperation and constant intimidations. The exchange rate between dollar and Lebanese Lira has rocketed (if one and a half year ago one dollar corresponded to 1500 Liras, nowadays it coincides to 9.400 Liras) and depreciation is about 84%. The result is that all prices have multiplied by seven/eight times.
During Christmas time volunteers of “Oui pour la Vie” worked hard in order to deliver food, medicines and gifts to the children, despite all the difficulties and the increasing fear of being infected. The local healthcare is indeed often inefficient, expensive and a lot of people cannot afford it. For these reasons all the volunteers are providing concrete help and food to the beneficiaries families as well as a more moral and psychological support that can bring them a little hope for the future.
We want to thank everyone that is supporting us and that is allowing Damour kitchen to continue to operate, always by the side of the most vulnerable Lebanese families.