LEBANON / WINTER HUNGER

19-Jan-2022 00:02:42
Devastating impact of economic crisis and COVID-19 leaves Lebanese and Syrian families struggling to stay warm and stave off hunger as weather turns. UNHCR
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STORY: LEBANON / WINTER HUNGER
TRT: 02:42
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: RECENT, BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON
SHOTLIST
RECENT, BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON

1. Wide shot, Majida sitting, daughters
2. Close up, Majida
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Majida, Syrian Refugee:
“I worry about heating. When winter approaches, I worry about how I will collect wood, food and clothing. Everything is expensive.”
4. Various shoots, Majida, daughter
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Majida, Syrian Refugee:
“Since October, the sadness started flowing in. Our camp has flooded from the very first rainfall. It is true that we have a roof above our heads, but it has been damaged.”
6. Wide shot, Majida, daughter
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Majida, Syrian Refugee:
“The floor has also completely flooded, and my girls had to sleep on a wet floor. I spent the entire last year sleeping on a wet floor. There is no solution because the tent is too low.”
8. Various shots, Majida, daughters, food on plate
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Majida, Syrian Refugee:
“Prior to the crisis in Lebanon, we used to eat food like meat and chicken. I am receiving loans from others. I am cleaning houses, and my oldest son is seeking jobs in order to adapt to the current situation.”
10. Various shots, Majida, picture on the wall, daughters, bucket of water
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Majida, Syrian Refugee:
“Being a woman on my own, I chose to strengthen my skills to know more about women’s rights, how to deal with my children abuse, teens or early marriage.”
12. Various shots, Majida
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Majida, Syrian Refugee:
“My wish to Lebanon, a country that has been kind to me, is that the situation improves because it is difficult for everyone, Lebanese and refugees.”
STORYLINE
Devastating impact of economic crisis and COVID-19 leaves Lebanese and Syrian families struggling to stay warm and stave off hunger as weather turns.

This year threatens far worse hardship due to Lebanon’s economic crisis, which has sunk almost all the country’s refugee population into extreme poverty.

Compounded by increasing COVID-19 cases and the 2020 Beirut port explosion, Lebanon’s economic meltdown has caused the country’s currency to collapse and sent the price of food, fuel and other basics soaring.

The crisis has caused widespread hardship in the country, while nine in every 10 Syrian refugees now live in extreme poverty and half of the refugee population is food insecure. The deteriorating situation is taking a toll on the entire Lebanese society and forcing both Lebanese and refugee families to make unbearable choices.

After fleeing Syria’s decade-long conflict in 2014 following the loss of her husband, Majida and her children moved to one of the many informal settlements dotted across the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon’s agricultural heartland.

Sometimes she finds low-paid daily work stringing beans or peeling garlic cloves, while her two eldest sons aged 15 and 16 both dropped out of school to work on nearby farms. But despite sacrificing their education, rising prices mean their modest earnings are not enough to cover the family’s basic needs.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has increased its support to vulnerable Lebanese and refugee families across the country, but the needs continue to outstrip aid and the crisis has turned an already hard situation into a daily struggle for survival.

Over the past few months, UNHCR has provided shelter rehabilitation support to the most vulnerable Lebanese and refugee families, as well as solar lamps and basic household items and materials to weatherproof structures during the winter. At the municipal level, UNHCR has provided water trucks, generators, solar panels and water pumps throughout the country to ensure communities have better access to water and electricity.

Majida is grateful to Lebanon for providing a safe haven to her family and hopes that both Lebanese and Syrians in the country will see better days.
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