A healthy diet increases our well-being and our ability to lead an enjoyable and vigorous life. Due to the recent economic crisis in Lebanon, 46% of the Lebanese people are now food insecure according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
The impact of the economic crisis was evident on 54-year-old Moufid and his family. “I work in construction and wall painting. Before the crisis hit, our financial situation was relatively good. I remember that I used to donate and help people who were in need. Sadly, the tables have turned and presently, I am looking for someone who can support my family,” he says.
The construction sector in Lebanon has been heavily affected by the crisis. Demands for new projects dramatically fell, thus leaving many workers with little or no work opportunities. “I am barely able to find new work opportunities. If I am lucky, I make around 500,000 Lebanese pounds (around 22 USD) per month. It is catastrophic, I have six children I need to provide to,” says Moufid.
Challenging periods entitle dramatic decisions
Moufid is very keen on the importance of education for his children. However, if he wants them to continue their learning journey he must make certain changes. “I moved my children from a private school to a free public school. To cut costs even further, they are now going to school by a “Tuk-Tuk*” instead of a bus as I cannot afford transportation fees,” he says.
In partnership with WFP, World Vision supported Moufid and his family through the provision of monthly in-kind food parcels in the hope to alleviate their difficult situation. As food prices have risen by 1,000% compared to October 2019, this assistance is a lifeline for thousands of families struggling to make ends meet.
“This is the only assistance I am receiving. I am very grateful for the monthly food parcels. They are actually making a big difference on our livelihood,” says Moufid. “Honestly, after the huge inflation in prices, I was unable to buy meat or chicken at one point. Presently, I can buy meat once every couple of weeks, since I don’t have to worry about buying the items I am receiving in the parcel such as oil, rice, tuna, pasta and more,” he confirms. “At one point I was very worried about the nourishment and health of my children.”
This year, World Vision and WFP aim to support more than 11,000 families in the Bekaa with monthly in-kind food parcels. . “I hope the country’s situation gets better one day. If not for us, at least for our children. They deserve a better future.”
*Tuk-tuks are three-wheeled small open vehicles.