UNICEF: Humanitarian crisis in Lebanon forces children as young as four to work on farms

ЮНИСЕФ: из-за гуманитарного кризиса в Ливане дети с четырех лет вынуждены работать на фермах

A child near a destroyed house in southern Lebanon. UNICEF: Humanitarian crisis in Lebanon forces children as young as four to work on farms Peace and Security

Amid the collapse of humanitarian funding and the escalation of the Middle East conflict, children in Lebanon as young as four are forced to work and families to beg. Experts from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported this on Tuesday. 

Escalating firefights between Hezbollah and Israeli forces since the start of the Gaza War in Lebanon have killed 344 people, including eight children, UNICEF has warned. In addition, since October 7, 30 thousand Lebanese children have been forced to leave their homes.

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UNICEF Representative James Elder also said that In Lebanon, key water infrastructure was destroyed, leaving approximately 100,000 people without access to clean drinking water. Also, according to him, 23 medical institutions stopped working.

Humanitarian crisis

According to new data, in informal In tent settlements for displaced people, children suffer from malnutrition. Demand for UNICEF nutrition programs is growing, and in some regions they have been suspended due to a lack of humanitarian funding.

According to UNICEF, entire families are forced to beg, and children as young as four years old work in agriculture. This has an extremely negative impact on the health and development of the child.

Even before the outbreak of hostilities, Lebanon was experiencing an economic crisis, as a result of which about half of the country’s population found itself below the poverty line. Now, many Lebanese in the south of the country have again lost their livelihoods due to escalating fighting and destruction of farms. 

Syrian refugees find themselves in a particularly dire situation. Ninety percent of them live in extreme poverty, says a UNICEF report on the impact of the Middle East conflict on children in Lebanon.

Funding collapse

UNICEF warns that despite growing needs in Lebanon, a number of donor countries have significantly reduced humanitarian funding. The Children’s Fund has been forced to scale back its activities in key areas, including the provision of safe drinking water.

“We see tensions rising and affecting children on a daily basis,” said UNICEF Lebanon Representative Etty Higgins. She also noted the high level of trauma among Palestinian refugees who live in Lebanese camps “in appalling conditions” and suffer “secondary” psychological trauma from what is happening in Gaza.


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