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Lockdowns pile job losses and hunger onto Syrian refugees' plight

A Syrian child is seen at a refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon on 8 March, 2013 [Rime Allaf/Twitter]
A Syrian child is seen at a refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon on 8 March 2013 [Rime Allaf/Twitter]

Ahmad al-Mostafa can't afford milk for his baby daughter. A Syrian refugee, he has barely been able to feed his family since Lebanon sank into economic crisis last year. But now, a coronavirus lockdown has made things even worse, Reuters reports.

"Nobody will hire us anymore," said the 28-year-old, who lost his restaurant job a few months ago. He racked up hundreds of dollars in debt at the local minimarket getting food before the owner said he could borrow no more.

"We're afraid of tomorrow," he said. "We don't know what will happen to us."

His plight echoes that facing many of the 5.6 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, who had scraped by on meagre daily wages but now find even that is denied them as the coronavirus pandemic forces their host countries into shutdown.

Many Lebanese have themselves been hit by a financial crisis that has evaporated jobs and sent prices soaring, and have become less tolerant of the Syrians who have boosted the population by around 1.5 million to some 6 million.

READ: UNRWA launches coronavirus emergency appeal for Palestine refugees

LebanonMiddle EastNewsSyria
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