Lebanese Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar on Wednesday called on the international community to support citizens in southern Lebanon as confrontations with Israel on the border area have exacerbated people’s suffering amid the current economic crisis.
“We are genuinely in a state of war with more than 100,000 people who were displaced outside their villages and houses,” Hajjar said at a press conference.
Hajjar said that only 33.3 million U.S. dollars out of the 150 million dollars were secured within the framework of the national program to support 75,000 of the poorest families in 2024.
“The Lebanese government must face this difficult reality and take action to communicate with donor countries to secure the necessary funding for this program during the next six months,” he said, noting that the funds expected to be offered in the coming months will drop due to the lack of sufficient support.
Hajjar added that the one-million-dollar donation announced by the Chinese government in November last year will be disbursed in February and will be used to provide people in border villages with food products.
The Lebanon-Israel border witnessed increased tension since Oct. 8, 2023, after the Hezbollah militant group fired dozens of rockets toward Israel in support of Hamas attacks on Israel the previous day, prompting Israel to respond by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.
Lebanon has been mired in an unprecedented financial crisis since late 2019, plunging over 80 percent of the population into poverty.