Anera and Its Partners Offer Immediate Aid to Ease Food Insecurity
In an alarming development, the World Food Program has identified Lebanon as one of the world's hunger hotspots that require immediate attention and assistance to address food insecurity. According to the June to November, 2023, Hunger Hotspots report, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program (WFP) have issued early warnings on acute food insecurity in Lebanon. The report says the country's acute food insecurity is driven by the ongoing economic crisis and political instability.
Lebanon's economy has contracted significantly in recent years, with many factors contributing to the loss of 99% of the currency value on the informal market from three years ago. This economic turmoil has led to nearly 190% inflation as of February 2023. Lebanon is heavily reliant on food and energy imports, so the rising prices of essential goods and raw materials have had a catastrophic impact on both Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees living there. An estimated 1.5 million Syrians now live in Lebanon after fleeing the civil war back home. They account for about one fifth of Lebanon's population.
High unemployment, income loss, currency depreciation and skyrocketing inflation have made it nearly impossible for residents to put food on the table or buy other basic necessities.
In response to the urgent needs, Anera continues to implement the Together for Each Other project, which began in August 2022. This initiative is supported by UNOCHA's Lebanon Humanitarian Fund and aims to provide monthly essential food and cash assistance to more than 1,261 households in the North Governorate. The project assesses and provides both Lebanese and Syrian refugee communities with the needed support to these vulnerable populations.
Maysaa, a 33-year-old Lebanese mother of three, underscores the importance of the program.
“The monthly donation we receive includes so much, from vegetable oil, pasta, rice, beans and canned food to other essential items.”
She says it is especially helpful because her husband is out of work and they are caring for her youngest child who suffers from the blood disorder, known as thalassemia.
“I have become the sole breadwinner in our family. The financial relief from these donations lets me save some of my earnings to pay for my child’s medications.”
"The financial relief from these donations lets me save some of my earnings to pay for my child’s medications.”
The recent WFP report estimates that in the first quarter of 2023, some 2.3 million people in Lebanon were experiencing a food-insecurity crisis or worse. That amounts to roughly 42% of the population. Some 1.5 million Lebanese citizens and 800,000 Syrian refugees are now experiencing acute food insecurity under the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale.
These figures represent a significant deterioration of living conditions since the previous analysis, conducted in the last quarter of 2022 when the situation was already quite serious, with 37% of the population then facing acute food insecurity. Your support can alleviate the overwhelming financial burden faced by so many Lebanese and refugee families. Help put food on the table by donating today.
Syrian refugee Imad struggles to provide for his family of seven.
“In today's expensive world, we struggle to make ends meet so every little bit counts.”
The 47-year-old says Anera’s assistance helps him set aside enough to pay for his disabled daughter’s medications.
“Unfortunately, my hypertension and diabetes limit my ability to work a lot and that impacts my family too.”
Deteriorating economies don’t only affect food security. The social impact can cause societies and families to crack and suffer. Mona’s family is no exception.
The 54-year-old mother of six is on her own after her husband abandoned her.
“My husband walked out, leaving us to face life's challenges alone. I am so thankful for the program’s donations that help me provide a more balanced diet for my children.”
She says the support has made a significant difference. “It ensures we have access to nutritious meals and helps me cope with the challenges of being a single parent.”
There is little hope for a quick turnaround of Lebanon’s economy and living conditions for its population. The country’s inclusion among the world's hunger hotspots underscores the severity of the crisis. Initiatives like Anera’s Together for Each Other play a crucial role in addressing immediate food security needs that cannot wait.
"I am so thankful for the program’s donations that help me provide a more balanced diet for my children.”
By delivering food and cash assistance to households in need, such projects implemented by trusted entities like Anera and UNOCHA, WFP and other donors, offer vital support to alleviate hunger and sustain the resilience of affected communities.
You can help.
Your donation helps sustain the programs that put food on the table for families like Mona's. Can Lebanese and refugee families count on you today?