Better safe than sorry

COVID-19 cases are surging again around the world, and Lebanon is no exception – over 2000 daily cases were reported in the past month. Families are having a difficult time coping with the situation, especially with the ongoing financial crisis the country is going through.

Wafik is currently unemployed due to his declining health. He mainly relies on some support from the community in his village. “After the high inflation of prices, we are not able to sustain the once normal life. The gas bottle used to cost 20,000 LBP, now it costs more than 300,000, the bag of bread used to cost 1,500, as for now, it costs about 20,000,” says 61-year-old Wafik. “My daughter contacted COVID three times since the outset of the pandemic. She needed to be admitted to the hospital every time. The situation was very stressful since we are always scared about her health. I am grateful for this support; it will help us stay safe.”

In the hope to limit the risk of Covid-19 transmission, and at the same time, to ease the consequences of the economic crisis, World Vision, with the support of USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), provided essential hygiene items and COVID-19 awareness sessions to families in South Lebanon. “Lately, COVID cases are increasing in the country, therefore it is important to always emphasise the safety measures. Washing hands and social distancing should be a daily habit since health is always the priority,” says Hawraa, World Vision casual worker. “Many families are not able to afford to stay safe from COVID because they are not able to buy the needed hygiene items. This kit will financially relieve them.”

As for Ahmad, this support was very important since it’s always better to stay safe based on his personal experience. “When I got COVID, the pain was unbearable. It is always better to stay safe than sorry. Sadly, due to the economic situation, not everyone can buy the needed hygiene items. This distribution came at the right time,” says the father of four.

Ahmad is a farmer and this year was more challenging – he lost most of his crops due to the unexpected rain and colder than usual weather. “The cost of the production is much higher than the income. Furthermore, I have to pay the rent of the land since I don’t own it,” he explains. “This support will help me financially.; I will be able to buy food for my children with the money I can save from buying the hygiene items.”

In the South of Lebanon, the BHA project aims to support 800 shops and 1260 households with hygiene kits in the hope to keep them safe from the virus and alleviate the burden of the economic situation.