Save the Children is deeply worried that the COVID-19 lockdown announced in Lebanon today will negatively impact vulnerable families and children if they are not supported immediately to survive.
The Lebanese government announced a countrywide state of emergency, from 14-25 January, which means a round-the-clock curfew with even supermarkets expected to close completely for ten days. This comes after a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, which totalled 30,000 over the past week.
The closure of supermarkets will add to the food crisis that was compounded by a separate announcement on Monday to increase the price of bread.
Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children's Country Director in Lebanon, said:
"We recognise the importance of taking thorough measures to stop the spread of the virus of course, but we are very concerned that vulnerable families and their children will be left to deal with a catastrophe on their own.
"Almost half of the population can't afford to buy sufficient food to last them through the supermarket closures, so we fear they will face hunger as it is uncertain whether stores have the capacity to deliver food to people's homes. The increase in the price of bread will also deal many families a harsh blow. We know there will be fewer meals and less bread on many tables if urgent action is not taken.
"We urge the government of Lebanon to implement fair and transparent social assistance packages for the most vulnerable communities. Save the Children stands ready to continue with its life-saving programmes to help make the situation more sustainable for those struggling to cope with the crisis."
For more information, kindly reach out to:
Ahmed Bayram, Ahmed.Bayram@savethechildren.org / +961 71 562 855
Out-of-hours (GMT): Media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44 7831 650 409