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Source: Save The Children

The world needs to commit more ambitiously to ensure children in Lebanon have a future, Save the Children said today, as international governments pledged US$370 million in emergency aid to the country.

The aid conference, organised by France, took place a year after an explosion in Beirut killed more than 200 people and injured 7,000. The country is still reeling from the disaster and an economic crisis that is seeing hundreds of thousands of children go to bed hungry. Last week, analysis from Save the Children found the gap in finances needed to afford basic goods skyrocketed 550% over the past year.

Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s country director in Lebanon said:

“Today marks a desperately sad anniversary for people in Lebanon. It is encouraging to see international governments coming together for the country on a day that will be forever remembered by so many people in Beirut and beyond as the worst moment of their life.

“But the funds committed today are not enough to support the suffering people in Lebanon. The support needs to go towards helping people cope with the worst economic, health and education crisis in years. These are top priorities for any family in Lebanon. Families struggle daily to put food on the table, or they are forced to take their children out of school and onto the streets to work so that they might afford a bag of bread. The collapse of the health, social protection and education systems is a direct threat to children’s wellbeing and future opportunities. This is very much a children’s crisis.

“This amount pledged today will no doubt improve the lives of some people, but more is needed to take millions out of poverty and make sure hundreds of thousands of children of all backgrounds, will get the nutrition, protection, and education they need.

“It is critical that this financial package reaches the most vulnerable children and their families in a fair and transparent manner. Lebanon’s people cannot take another year of this suffering.”

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MIL OSI