Band aid won’t get Lebanon out of the abyss
Statement by Norwegian Refugee Council Country Director for Lebanon Carlo Gherardi
“The international conference in support of the Lebanese people held today falls short of providing the mammoth changes desperately needed one year since the Beirut explosion.
“While we welcome the continued international support to Lebanon through a new funding mechanism to help the most vulnerable, this is far from enough to help the country survive the full force of its ongoing economic and political crisis. Tens of thousands of people who were self-sufficient have been pushed into poverty and destitution, with a shocking rise in child labour, hunger and malnutrition. People we work with tell us they are skipping their meals, postponing critical healthcare and fear homelessness because they can no longer pay the rent. It is crucial that the announced emergency response plan is funded fully to cover immediate humanitarian needs and help people cope.
“But band aid solutions won’t help Lebanon get out of the abyss. The formation of a Lebanese government and the implementation of wide-ranging governance reforms is the key to unlocking the long term, structural international support needed to create jobs, provide services and social protection. Only that can avert a total humanitarian disaster.
“One year on since the devastating Beirut port explosion, there is also a real need for accountability to be shouldered by those responsible for the death and losses suffered by families who have been left abandoned.”