Lebanon has been subject to several crises, each contributing separately to the deterioration of the different aspects of living conditions. The economic crisis that started in 2019 is one of the worst in decades: currency collapsing, businesses shutting down, prices of basic goods skyrocketing, and threat of hunger looming over the poorest of people. The salaries are now worth a tiny fraction of what they were. Most of the people in Lebanon do not have enough food to feed their families or enough money to buy basic needs. As if the economic crisis was not enough, a subsequent chain of unfortunate events followed including the outbreak of COVID-19 and the devastating Beirut port blast in August 2020. In addition, Lebanon’s central bank ran out of money and lifted the subsidies on basic goods (fuel, medication, food, and flour) by early summer of 2021, which left over three-quarters of Lebanese people living in extreme poverty.
Heart for Lebanon, in partnership with 25 evangelical churches in Beirut, aimed to reach vulnerable families living in the Beirut area affected by the economic situation, Covid-19, and the Beirut blast and assist them by providing food packages.
Amani, an attendee of a church in Beirut from a non-Christian background said, “We are losing our purchasing power day by day with the massive inflation and the prices that are constantly rising. We are in dire need of support. I previously asked for help in many places, but no one has answered. Although I am not a Christian, this church showed me love, support, and care.” Amani now attends the Bible study and reads the bible daily. She learned how to trust God, for He will never leave her alone.
Through this assistance, Heart for Lebanon was able to provide support for 6 months to more than 700 families left in extremely vulnerable situations. The package consists of sugar, rice, lentil, beans, chickpeas, bulgur, flour, salt, tea, thyme, spaghetti, vermicelli, milk, cheese, luncheon meat, tuna, vegetable oil, etc. This is in addition to the hygiene kits that support the families in responding to the spread of Covid-19. These kits contain a laundry detergent, washing liquid, shampoo, liquid soap, tissues, masks, sanitizers, etc.
Wazira, who is receiving a food package and is an attendee of a church in Beirut said, “My husband got injured and he got fired from his job. I was so scared and I did not know what to do and how to feed my children. I was praying a lot, and suddenly, I received a message from church to get a food package. I did not lose hope because I knew that God is always with us and gives us all our needs. I could not believe how God answered my prayers instantly.”
With this help, Amani, Wazira, and their families were able to have enough food to eat and ease their minds for a while; an “exceptional help” as described by many at an unordinary time and circumstance in Lebanon.