Inflation is pushing people deeper into poverty. And it’s the poorest families who are the hardest hit.
Many of the countries that Tearfund is working in around the world are seeing devastating rises in inflation. It is pushing people further into poverty. Families can no longer afford the essentials they need to survive. Lebanon has been struck particularly hard by this; our team shares more about what is happening in the country, and how our prayers can make a difference.
Lebanon is currently facing hyperinflation – where the prices of goods and services are rising rapidly and excessively.
The government has issued a new list of prices for legal services and imported goods – but this is far more than what the average person can afford.
On top of this, the currency has also been significantly affected. The majority of people in the country continue to be paid in Lebanese pounds, but this is only now worth a thirteenth of what it was previously. In the last two years, the Lebanese pound lost around 90 percent of its value – propelling three-quarters of the population into poverty.
Leaving the country
‘The significantly reduced power of the Lebanese pound has led to increased debt, more businesses going bankrupt and mass unemployment,’ shares Claire Tiffen, who leads Tearfund’s work in Lebanon. ‘It’s led to more and more people choosing to leave the country.’
The effects of the mass exodus of skilled workers can most clearly be seen in the healthcare sector, with the absence of doctors and nurses, leading to longer waiting times and a shortage of services.
But there are many people who cannot afford to leave the country, and who are facing increased hardship.
Cheikha* has four grown-up sons, but none of them can find work. She’s struggling to buy the essentials, but has no one to reach out to for support – all of her family are facing similar financial struggles.
‘I can’t tell him [my son] that I want money to buy bread. Where are they going to get me money from?’ she shares with us.
Tearfund’s local partners were able to help Cheikha out with food vouchers and hygiene items, as well as blankets and warm clothes for the winter months.
‘I couldn’t believe it. I kept asking myself, “are there really people like this in the world?” They never asked for anything in return, and I have never met people like them,’ says Cheikha.
But with the ongoing crises in the country, it can be difficult to look ahead.
‘We don’t have much hope for the future now. We are living day by day because there’s something new every day,’ shares Cheikha. ‘Some people are making it easier for us but… I pray that God makes a way.’