In late October, tens of thousands of Lebanese citizens took to the streets for a nation-wide protest that lasted weeks. Public dissent had been lingering for some time, hitting a breaking point upon the announcement of a new tax. Months later, with a pandemic adding further pressure, the Middle Eastern nation’s situation has taken a turn for the worst.
Lebanon is currently undergoing a major financial crisis due to years of corruption at the hands of the nation’s political elite meaning that the Lebanese Lira has lost more than 80 per cent of its value in the last eight months alone.
In a nation with virtually no exports, and a local currency pegged to the U.S. dollar, the Lebanese Lira’s value is strictly dependent on foreign currency deposits by investors into the nation’s central bank— a system that fell short after investors suspected corruption, among other things. It all came to a screeching halt amid the spread of coronavirus. With a shortage of foreign currency, the Lebanese Lira’s value has now plummeted.
Such practices by the Lebanese government have made the nation the third most indebted nation in the world. And Lebanese citizens are paying the price now.
The price of food and basic goods, including bread (an imperative commodity with a price point that was maintained for over a decade) has continuously risen. Electricity cuts are now more common than ever, and even water is difficult to access by many citizens. Not to mention a troubling shortage of medical supplies.
Add to that a vulnerable refugee population that’s now in the millions, it’s safe to say that Lebanon is now a dire state. The threat of hunger has turned imminent for Lebanon’s most marginalized communities, and they need help.
Beit el Baraka
A Lebanese NGO that provides marginalized families with basic products, food and medication.
An NGO fighting against the kafala system, providing support to migrant domestic workers in Lebanon.
Matbakh el Balad
Launched during the October protests to feed over 1000 protestors per day, Matbakh el Balad is a volunteer-run food kitchen serving up meals to those who need it.
Lebanese Food Bank
The Lebanese food bank provides food for the elderly, disabled, single mothers, orphans, and those who are unable to work.