Creating new perspectives since 2009

Lebanon: Action needed or 14% more children will face crisis hunger levels, charity says

Save the Children said 4 out 10 Lebanese and Syrian refugee children already face food insecurity and this number is set to grow in 2023

January 4, 2023 at 10:58 am

The number of children in Lebanon facing crisis levels of hunger is projected to increase by 14% early this year unless urgent action is taken, Save the Children warned yesterday.

Four in ten Lebanese and Syrian refugee children in the country currently face high acute food insecurity due to a food crisis caused by years of economic instability and fuelled by global climate and hunger shocks.

“Already, figures from the first IPC (September-December 2022) acute food insecurity analysis conducted in Lebanon showed that 37% of the Lebanese and Syrian population in Lebanon are living with high acute food insecurity, with over 306,000 people facing severe lack of food access which could lead to starvation,” a statement by Save the Children said. This figure is expected to increase to 42 per cent for the first quarter of 2023 if urgent action is not taken.

READ: One-third of Arab population lives in poverty: ESCWA

This makes Lebanon the sixth worst food crisis globally for share of population that is food insecure, after South Sudan, Yemen, Haiti, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic.

“The crisis in Lebanon is increasingly a children’s crisis. The first five years of a child’s life are critical, and we fear that without enough nutritious food to eat, an increasing number of children will become malnourished, or even face starvation,” Save the Children’s Country Director in Lebanon Jennifer Moorehead said. “More needs to be done to prevent Lebanon from becoming the next tragic hunger emergency.”

The socio-economic crisis in Lebanon has pushed three-quarters of the population into poverty, with frequent power cuts, a disastrous cholera outbreak that has trickled across neighbouring countries and a worsening cash crisis deteriorating living conditions for millions of people.

READ: Lebanon: 90% of Syria refugees need humanitarian aid to survive