Lebanon’s economic crisis worsening since 2020: “Some people have confessed to me in tears that they are no longer able to buy medicine and even milk for their children”. AMU distributing food parcels
Since 2019, Father Hakim has been parish priest of three parishes in the village of Beit Chabab, a mountain town about 20 kilometres north of Beirut. Before then, Beit Chabab had always been a wealthy town. Then, ‘in an unexpected and alarming way’, says Father Hakim, the economic and social situation plummeted. 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the explosion at the port of Beirut, social conditions in the whole country got worse, and the impact of the crisis has also hit Beit Chabab.
Father Hakim and AMU
Father Hakim immediately took action to deal with this social emergency, and organised a committee in his parishes to distribute aid to those in need. Alongside him was Sister Danielle Moukarzel, the local contact person for AMU.
AMU is present in Lebanon with its financial and psychological support programme aimed at vulnerable families, to whom it distributes boxes of food and hygiene products.
The great difficulties of families in crisis
“Some families in our parishes have found themselves experiencing increasing difficulties as a result of the crises that have hit financial and health sectors,” Father Hakim recounts, “Some of them have confessed to me in tears that they are no longer able to buy medicines and even milk for their children not to mention all the other expenses like clothes, shoes, bills, petrol for the cars”.
Thanks to AMU’s support here in Beit Chabab, forty-five of the most vulnerable families receive food parcels every two months, and bread twice a week.
The number of families asking for assistance continues to increase: “In September 2021, there were about forty. Today there are more than 120! Even those who used to be embarrassed about asking for help, now do so frequently and with great insistence because the situation is getting more serious and out of control day by day”.