Lebanon in Deep Crisis

Living and economic conditions continue to deteriorate in Lebanon.

Zachary Javier Pedernal

Zachary Javier Pedernal

Civilians of Lebanon are debilitated from the past year and are disappointed to find themselves in even worse conditions starting the new year, 2022.

This past year for Lebanon has been a growing crisis, including inferior health conditions, economic crash, famine, and far more issues. Thousands of people are unable to feed their families or provide them with any medication during this pandemic as hospitals are in extreme shortage of medical supplies.

Drugs as simple as painkillers are in massive deficit. The DHL shipping company had to offer a 40% off medical shipments along with additional baggage access, in order to carry medical supplies on Emirates Airlines. Though these special conditions are in place, it has barely made the difference.

Around 30-40% of doctors and nurses have left/gone abroad from Lebanon since October 2019. Much of the following information is provided by Damaris, an Administrative Officer for the UNESCO Jakarta Office who, herself, has spent 5 years living in Lebanon.

The extreme explosion from August 2020 was the breaking point of Lebanon’s medical system after it left over 200 killed and above 7,000 injured.

Aid to civilians in severe poverty hasn’t been accepted, either. Lebanon continues to suffer as the electricity shuts down. PTSD is a common disorder developed by Lebanese after this traumatic incident. Damaris described it as:

“I still get panic attacks and get startled every time I hear a pop. Never knowing it if a bomb or other catasrophe is coming for me.” The biggest power company for Lebanon, Electricite du Liban, is incapable of giving minimum supplies of electricity. This meant thousands of people without electricity and who are unable to rent generators. Before 2019, there were common power outages that could last up to 6 hours, although they were provided with backup generators. However, power outages now last around 12 hours and civilians are unable to afford backup generators. Living conditions were previously difficult, but these issues have risen by a large amount. This affects their consumption intake. Even if with enough money, civilians are left without food as the shelves are out of stock.

And in the case they are in stock, one is only able to purchase enough food to last 1-2 days as their fridge doesn’t have the power to keep food lasting. By 1-2 days, shelves are yet again out of stock.

As there is a growing lack of general living conditions, crime rates rise. Civilians are left with little to nothing, so stealing could potentially be their only option. There is a connection to all of these issues, especially to the extent they have increased. This is the vivid economic crisis in Lebanon. Basic human necessities are not reaching its bare minimum because governments are not able to pay the suppliers of these necessities.

Although Lebanon isn’t catching mainstream attention as it was in August of 2020, these civilians are still suffering as much, if not worse. As a community with privileges, we need to decrease our ethnocentric mindset. Lebanon is still in a deep crisis and has little hope to recover. The lights may have gone out on Lebanon’s mainstream attention, but families, children, students, workers, are left without electricity. Including heaters, air conditioners, warm water, and more.

Civilians who wish to leave Lebanon are left without a way out.

Though the cameras have turned away from Lebanon, civilians continue to be left with no medical attention in a pandemic, had their valuables stolen, walk the streets in fear and hurt of missing loved ones.