Crippling shortage of food, fuel and electricity
Public demonstrations and roadblocks continue across the country after the latest petrol tank blast that claimed 28 lives and caused injuries to hundreds.
A collapsed economy and spiraling gasoline prices has resulted in an escalation of violence and deep unrest. Fuel is scarce in Lebanon, which is in the grips of one of the world’s worst economic crises in modern times. The currency has collapsed over the past two years, causing inflation to skyrocket, and more than half of the population live below the poverty line. Last week, the central bank unilaterally decided to end fuel subsidies because of its dwindling reserves of foreign currency.
Since the last two weeks, there is massive electricity outage, with availability reduced to three to six hours per day. The fuel prices have stopped bakeries to function, limiting people access to basic food for survival.
The economic collapse has resulted in spiralling food prices; one kilo of bread now costs 12,000 Lebanese pound.
Cost of medicines at are at all-time high because of the rising gasoline prices and many critical hospital units such as ICU’s and radiology have closed because they aren’t able to function. Several life-saving medicines continue to be unavailable at the pharmacist or in the hospital. Two hospitals in Beirut have closed and another four are in the process of shutting down, given their inability to access fuel.
Lebanon is seeing an increasing numbers of COVID positive cases, with more than 2,000 cases recorded daily. The country has seen a 29% hike in cases in the last 7 days.
Internet services are down with telecommunication industry facing a major crisis, with dire scarcity levels, putting additional pressure on citizens.
Our team in Lebanon is monitoring the situation. Islamic Relief has been working in Lebanon, first to support the relief operations after the devastating Beirut port blast and then in rehabilitation. We have now initiated a new Multi-Purpose Cash Grant for the vulnerable.