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Lebanon has been suffocating under the debilitating weight of a major economic and financial crisis which has left Lebanon’s poor with little or no means to cope with mounting hardships.
Now the coronavirus lockdown has stripped them of whatever little means or access they still had. There are growing signs of desperation across the country. Recently, a taxi driver set his car on fire while in it as he was fined for breaking the rules. A hairdresser has offered to sell his kidney. These stories are heartbreaking!
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank estimated that 50% of Lebanon’s population will be under the poverty line by 2020. Now this figure will most likely be accelerated and become more staggering. The near bankrupt and heavily indebted Lebanese Government has no means to deal with this crisis. Furthermore, according to Human Rights Watch, the Financial crisis created a scarcity of medical supplies necessary to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Rene Moawad Foundation is rising to meet this Grand Challenge. In cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry of Health, it is launching a comprehensive COVID-19 program that focuses on containment, making affordable FDA approved test kits available, preparing the medical infrastructure and more than ever needed socioeconomic support for vulnerable families in the North. Sadly, there is but one hospital per se in Tripoli to service the whole region and it is unequipped to deal with COVID-19 patients or the increasing demands.
RMF has an initial target of acquiring at least $15,000 testing kits to service Northern Lebanon, being one of the country’s most deprived regions, with severe poverty, according to the UNDPP; each testing kit costs around $10. In addition, it is launching its Food for Hunger program to distribute food boxes to 2000 needy and vulnerable families; and now the demands have grown exponentially, and it is adding hygiene kits to these food boxes.
We are counting on your generosity to help us SAVE LIVES in Lebanon during these difficult and trying times. The spread of Covid-19 has indeed changed lives around the world and presented Lebanon with existential challenges. At the same time, it is bringing out the best in us. Our common humanity is shining through when those who can extend a helping hand do so to those who are in desperate need of our help.
Thank you for all that you do to help Lebanon’s most vulnerable face these unprecedented challenges! Together we shall overcome! Please stay safe and out of harm’s way.