People check for clothes and shoes donated by citizens for poor families in Beirut, Lebanon | Photo: EPA/Nabil Mounzer
People check for clothes and shoes donated by citizens for poor families in Beirut, Lebanon | Photo: EPA/Nabil Mounzer

The economic crisis in Lebanon has left 120,000 migrant workers in need of humanitarian assistance to survive, according to UN migration agency IOM.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday (August 10) that some 120,000 immigrant workers in Lebanon are "in pressing need of humanitarian assistance" to survive.

IOM said many migrant workers "are so desperate that they want to leave the country, but they do not have the means to do so."

Lebanon hosts many refugees, migrants

Lebanon is currently in the middle of the worst economic crisis experienced by the country in over a decade. Many of the country's 6.8 million residents -- which include roughly 210,000 migrant workers and over a million refugees.

Tens of thousands of people in Lebanon have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay for food and other essentials for themselves and their families.

Many immigrant workers have been hit particularly hard. "They are hungry, they cannot access medical care, and feel unsafe," said Mathieu Luciano, head of IOM in Lebanon.

Beirut explosions

On August 4, 2020, explosions in the harbor of Beirut destroyed large parts of the Lebanese capital and left more than 200 people dead. This sent the already struggling country -- Lebanon had announced it was defaulting five months earlier -- into an economic tailspin. The lira has lost more than 90% of its value since late 2019.

78% of Lebanese people are currently living below the poverty threshold, at least 36% live in extreme poverty.

A survey carried out by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) a year after the blasts in the Beirut harbor revealed that nearly all homes in the city were damaged and half of them have not been repaired yet.

An estimated 10% of families in the capital's metro area still don't have access to running water, a year after the explosions severed their water supply. An estimated two in three families do not have access to healthcare or medicines and one in four families tested positive for COVID-19 over the past year.


 

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