Save the Children is deeply worried that the COVID-19 lockdown that was announced in Lebanon yesterday will impact vulnerable families and children extremely hard if they are not supported immediately to survive.
The Lebanese government announced a state of emergency from 14 - 25 January across the country, which means a round-the-clock curfew with even supermarkets expected to close completely for ten days. This comes after a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, which totalled 30,000 over the past week.
The closure of supermarkets will add to a food crisis compounded by another announcement on Monday to raise the price of bread.
Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Country Director in Lebanon, said:
“We recognise the importance of taking thorough measures to stop the spread of the virus of course, but we are very concerned that vulnerable families and their children will be left to deal with a catastrophe on their own.
“Almost half of the population can’t afford to buy sufficient food to last them through the supermarket closures, so we fear they will face hunger as it is unsure stores have the capacity to deliver food to people’s homes. The rise of the price of bread will also deal many families a harsh blow. We know there will be fewer meals and less bread on many tables if an urgent action is not taken.
“We urge the government of Lebanon to implement fair and transparent social assistance packages for the most vulnerable communities. We stand ready to continue with its life-saving programmes to help make the situation more sustainable for those struggling to cope with the crisis.”
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