Lebanon crisis robbing young people of their futures: UNICEF |

Here are some disturbing statistics included in a report published on Friday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The report also states that 31% of young people have no education, employment or training. In fact, enrollment rate in educational institutions decreased from 60% in the period 2020-2021 to only 43% for the current school year.

Difficult choice

Unemployed youth in Lebanon are participating in training programs where they are paid a living wage while they study.

Speaking to UNICEF, 17-year-old Haneen said the amount she and her family receive every month is not enough.

Inflation is too high and income is not commensurate with this. Every month we had to choose one priority – rent, medicine, food. But we can never have it all“, she speaks.

According to UNICEF, unless action is taken to reverse current trends, decisions like these will have a serious impact on future growth and social cohesion in the country.

The agency’s representative in the country, Ettie Higgins, said: “Investment is needed to ensure that financial concerns do not prevent them from acquiring the education and skills they need to find decent work and contribute to the stability and prosperity of Lebanon”.

For Ms. Higgins, the crisis has taken away stability from teenagers and very important people of their age.

“This should be the time for them to focus on their studies, their dreams and their future,” she explains.

Irregular work

While more and more young people are forced to drop out of school, they often find themselves ill-equipped to compete for increasingly scarce and often low-wage jobs in the informal sector.

Children at school in Lebanon.

Children at school in Lebanon., by © UNICEF / Fouad Choufany

Working youth have an average monthly income of around 1,600,000 Lebanese pounds (LBP), or about $64 at black market rates.

For young Syrians in Lebanon, this is about half, which equates to a daily income of about 1 USD/day.

Seven out of 10 people are considered unemployed and without any source of income, not generating any money to live on in the week before the survey.

The crisis in Lebanon has also led to an increase in other negative coping mechanisms in addition to a reduction in the cost of education.

About 13% of families sent children under the age of 18 out to work. Nearly one in two young people have reduced health care costs, and only six out of 10 get primary health care when they need it.

Because of all these pressures, Hind, 22, told UNICEF her outlook for the future here is bleak.

For the first time in my life, I want to leave my country, I want to leave Lebanon“, she speaks.

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