BEIRUT, 12 January, 2022 -- The collapse of the Lebanese pound to historic lows this week will drive even more children into poverty and hunger this year, Save the Children warned today.
The Lebanese pound has lost more than 15% of its value since the start of 2022, pushing desperate families already struggling to afford food, electricity and fuel deeper into poverty and with a tank of fuel for a small car now costing more than a month's salary on minimum wage.
Since 2019, Lebanon's currency has lost more than 90% of its value. The country's economic meltdown -- one of the world's worst since the 1850s -- has pushed an estimated four million families into poverty in the last two years. Many children are eating less than ever before, worsening an ongoing hunger crisis throughout the country.
Save the Children is calling on the Lebanese government and relevant stakeholders to urgently take measures to stabilize the economy to prevent further suffering of children and their families.
Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children's Country Director in Lebanon, said:
*"The situation in Lebanon is rapidly spiralling out of control as the country deals with multiple crises without any sign of relief. As the Lebanese pound continues to plummet in value, the price of food, fuel and medicine is increasing at an alarming rate. A single tank of gas for a small car now costs more than an entire monthly salary on minimum wage. *
"The children and families we work with tell us every day of the impossible choices they have to make between food and rent, electricity and medication, and sending their children to school. This will have a devastating impact on Lebanese and refugee children across the country, putting even more basic necessities out of reach and forcing more and harder choices.
*"2022 looks like it will be another long, hard year for children and their families in Lebanon. We cannot sit back and continue watching Lebanon's financial crisis unfold. The Lebanese government and the international community must work together to safeguard children's futures - before it's too late." *
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