Lebanon: One year after the Beirut explosion, medical and mental health needs remain unsatisfied | Doctors Without Borders

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Fawziyya, 64, has high blood pressure and diabetes and has to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables – but these are often out of reach for her and her family. One of her sons works in a shop where he earns 10,000 Lebanese pounds a day – less than one US dollar at today’s informal exchange rate. Your other son is unemployed. The three of them live together in an unfinished house that they cannot afford to finish.

For the past two years she has been visiting the Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic in nearby Hermel in order to have regular examinations and to collect the medication and insulin she needs.

After the explosion

Fawziyya and her family are among the 50 percent of Lebanese who live in extreme poverty today. The small country on the east coast of the Mediterranean has been hit hard by an economic crisis, rising inflation, political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic since 2019. In this unstable climate, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history shook the capital, Beirut, on August 4, 2020.

The massive explosion in the port of Beirut had devastating effects: almost 200 people were killed, more than 6,000 were injured and tens of thousands lost their homes. It also destroyed many public facilities, including hospitals, and badly damaged the central warehouse of the health department, cutting off access to medicines especially for the elderly and patients with chronic diseases.

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