Lebanon Crisis: Food Prices Soar, Drinking Water Scarce

In addition to soaring food prices, the crisis in Lebanon has also caused a shortage of drinking water. The collapsing Lebanese water company sent bottled water prices up. Meanwhile, the tap water is often too dirty to drink.

refugees in lebanon
The crisis in Lebanon also affects Palestinian and Syrian refugees. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, LEBANON – The crisis in Lebanon is getting worse. Food prices that have been climbing for the past two years continue to soar after Lebanese Central Bank decided to end fuel subsidy in August

Rising gasoline and diesel prices have also prevented bottled water companies from operating their trucks and bottling plants. As a result, the price of bottled drinking water in Lebanon has skyrocketed. A one-liter bottle of water that previously cost LBP 1,000 now costs five times more. Purchasing drinking water has also become a heavy burden for many families in Lebanon.

The water infrastructure in Lebanon is poor. Tap water is not clean enough for consumption and does not even reach all households.

“We call it domestic water, not potable water,” said Elie Mansour, a UN habitat senior planning and infrastructure engineer.

Furthermore, Mansour added the Lebanese water authorities lacked money to repair cracked and rusty pipelines. As a result, water can be contaminated on its way to people's homes, and much of it leaks through the cracked pipes.

“Some families have been boiling water before drinking it, or in some cases simply drink it straight from the tap. This can lead to waterborne diseases, and we have documented cases of salmonella and diarrhea,” he explained.

Firdaus Guritno from Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)'s Global Humanity Response said on Wednesday (9/8/2021) that the soaring food and drinking water prices in Lebanon had an impact on hundreds of thousands of Palestinian and Syrian refugees there. The majority of them do not have jobs, so this crisis will be a big blow for them.

"Before this crisis, it was very difficult for Syrian and Palestinian refugees to be able to buy enough food. Now the prices of basic necessities have skyrocketed. Hopefully, generous friends can provide assistance for the refugees because they can only depend on the kindness of the benefactors at this time," invited Firdaus.[]