UNICEF estimates that in the next four to six weeks, most water pumping activities across Lebanon will gradually cease.
The United Nations warned that more than 4 million people in Lebanon, including 1 million refugees, may not have access to safe water due to shortages of funds, fuel, and supplies.
“UNICEF estimates that in the next four to six weeks, most of the country’s pumping activities will gradually cease,” a UN agency statement said on Friday.
Lebanon is battling an economic collapse that has caused more than half of its population to fall into poverty, and its currency has depreciated by more than 90% in less than two years.
This financial crisis As the U.S. dollar has dried up, it has turned into a severe shortage of basic commodities such as fuel and medicines.
The United Nations agency said maintenance costs in U.S. dollars, funding shortages, and the parallel collapse of the power grid are rapidly destroying the water industry.
UNICEF said that if the public water supply system collapses, the monthly water bill may rise by 200% because the water will be obtained from a private water supplier.
The United Nations agency said it needs $40 a year to ensure the minimum levels of fuel, chlorine, spare parts and maintenance required to maintain critical systems.
The statement quoted Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF’s representative in Lebanon, as saying: “Unless urgent action is taken, hospitals, schools and basic public facilities will not operate.”
The Lebanese pound, which has been pegged to the US dollar for many years, has depreciated by more than 90% in the past 18 months.
In most places, there is almost no electricity supply for one hour a day, and the fuel needed for generators is in short supply.
The essential medicines on the shelves of the pharmacy have been missing for several months, and the private hospital warned on Thursday that they were “a few hours” before losing all their electricity supply.