Lebanon In Danger Of Losing Critical Access To Water

August 23, 2021

  Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore

 

NEW YORK (August 23, 2021) – “Unless urgent action is taken, more than four million people across Lebanon – predominantly vulnerable children and families – face the prospect of critical water shortages or being completely cut off from safe water supply in the coming days.

“Last month, UNICEF warned that more than 71 percent of the population of Lebanon could run out of water this summer. Since then, this perilous situation has continued, with critical services including water and sanitation, power networks and healthcare under huge strain. Vital facilities such as hospitals and health centers have been without access to safe water due to electricity shortages, putting lives at risk. 

“If four million people are forced to resort to unsafe and costly sources of water, public health and hygiene will be compromised, and Lebanon could see an increase in waterborne diseases, in addition to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“UNICEF is calling for the urgent restoration of the power supply - the only solution to keep water services running.

“The needs are massive, and the urgent formation of a new government with clear commitments to reform, is critical to tackle the current crisis through determined and systematic action to protect children’s lives and ensure access to water and all basic services.

“Our teams in Lebanon are working tirelessly, in incredibly difficult circumstances, to provide life-saving services and continue to support the response to COVID-19 including with vaccine deployment and further expanding of programs.”

 

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About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

 

For more information please contact:

Erica Vogel, UNICEF USA, 212.922.2480, evogel@unicefusa.org
Gabby Arias, UNICEF USA, 917.720.1306, garias@unicefusa.org