Beirut, August 2021
The situation in Lebanon has deteriorated dramatically during the past weeks, affecting Lebanese, refugees, and other vulnerable communities and children residing in Lebanon.
Lebanon got into a failure state condition; the central bank canceled all governmental subsidiaries that covered all kinds of fuel. This increased the car gasoline cost by 400% from 75,000L.L. ($3.75) to 335,000L.L. ($17), and the diesel for power generators by 500% from 57,000L.L. ($2.85) to 275,000L.L. ($13.75) for each 20 liters. Black market prices increased, but the fuel itself is no longer available for the public, with corruption destroying what is left of the country. The inflation rate hit 146%, and the country reached food insecurity and starvation levels with food prices increased by more than 400%, knowing that the minimum wage in Lebanon is 600,000L.L. ($30), 60% of the population are below the poverty line, and the exchange rate jumping from 1500 L.L. to 20,000 L.L. for 1 USD now.
The fuel crisis affected all functional governmental and public utilities. Electricity and communications generating stations are barely functioning, with 2 hours of electricity supply every 24 hours. The rest of the daily electricity depends on private sector generators with sky-high prices when diesel is available, which is not always the case. The country is practically in a complete blackout.
During the past few days, street violence erupted, with people blocking streets and looking for fuel, food, and medicines. Hospitals already announced that they will automatically shut down due to lack of diesel, jeopardizing vaccines storage facilities and patients’ lives on kidney dialysis, respirators, and neonates in intensive care.
Most of the country’s electricity resources are cut off even from supplying the central water pumping systems threatening to deprive 4 million people of water. Essential commodities like bakeries, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other shops started to shut down also.
Our office had 2 hr. electricity supply today with no internet connectivity. ANECD/ARC’s team is trying hard to keep functioning at home with the same electricity and connectivity problems (transportation cost increased by 600%. Their laptops and smartphones started to drop dead with empty batteries waiting for the scantily available electricity to recharge.
We are trying our best to keep communicating on 3G connectivity when available, waiting for the full-scale aftermath and any glimpse of hope, if any.