Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanon began its latest lockdown in mid-November following a surge of COVID-19 cases. Officials began a partial reopening this week that will continue through the end of the year. See our full coronavirus coverage here.
2020 has been especially difficult for Lebanon. Nuna* with Triumphant Mercy says the pandemic and massive explosion in August pushed unstable living conditions over the edge.
“According to some polls, the poverty level in Lebanon is now more than 50-percent and I think it’s growing,” she says.
“People who used to be self-sufficient in a way – at least [getting] enough to get by – now are having to resort to us just to have food on the table.”
Lebanon issued a two-week nationwide lockdown on November 11, closing nearly all businesses and restricting movement with a 12-hour curfew. Thankfully, Triumphant Mercy stayed open.
“We’re partly open, not totally open, but that’s good enough for us. We can do food distribution; we can repair homes [damaged by the August explosion], we can keep the workers working, but we cannot do anything with the kids that come to our center,” Nuna explains.
Triumphant Mercy, a Lebanese ministry, began in 2006. “In all these years, we have been working mainly with refugees because they were supposed to be the ones that have a harder time,” Nuna says.
Now, thanks to Lebanon’s mounting challenges, TM shifts focus from refugees to neighbors and friends. “People who are affected by the blast, people who still are trying to rebuild their lives, [have] no work [and] nothing to sustain them. It’s a dire situation, really,” Nuna says.
“The government is not able to do much because the government itself is in bankruptcy. Lebanon is bankrupt.”
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“We are praying for a miracle. We’re praying that something will happen so that this economy will rise from the dead, because it is growing downhill and it’s going to be even worse with days to come,” Nuna says.
“Pray God will pour out His Spirit again and revive Lebanon from the ashes. When His voice speaks, He says the dead will rise and people are seeing death in front of them. Everything is lost.”
*– Name changed for security purposes.
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Finn Hackshaw on Unsplash.