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Struggling to keep the taps on - Lebanon's water crisis continues to put children at risk

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Lebanon’s unprecedented socio-economic crisis has left millions of people fighting for survival and devastated critical infrastructure, including water and sanitation, putting the health and future of the country’s children at risk.

Rising global oil prices have further worsened an economic meltdown that was already compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the 2020 Beirut explosions.
For the more than 80 per cent of the population who live below the poverty line, the overlapping crises mean a daily struggle not only to put food on the table, but also to ensure their families have sufficient clean water.

The water sector itself has barely managed to stay afloat, and water supply systems remain on the brink, with prospects for a solution looking bleak as the limited power supply makes it impossible to pump sufficient water, and in some cases causes water pumping operations to shut down entirely.

“One year ago, UNICEF warned that the water system was at breaking point.2 While a total collapse of public water supply networks has so far been averted, the crisis has not been resolved and millions of people are affected by the limited availability of clean and safe water. Addressing the issue is of utmost importance for the health of children and families in Lebanon.”

Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon.