Mohammad is Lebanese and he lives in Khyara with his wife, 2 children and 3 sisters.

They live in a very poor neighborhood where living conditions are very harsh and there is no work. He has to provide for a family of 7 people, including a sick sister. It was hard enough for them to survive before her illness, but with all the medical costs piling up, they can barely make ends meet. Unable to cover the cost of his sister’s treatment, he had to borrow money from his neighbours and friends.

We borrowed money from a lot of people so we can help my sister, who is sick. Our situation is very hard... we have nothing.

Mohammad drives around in his car selling vegetables all day, but no matter how hard he works, he does not make enough to support his family and cannot even afford to send his kids to school. “My kids don’t go to school. I have my daughter who is of age but my son is too young for school. My daughter used to go but I wasn’t able to afford her education anymore.” No one in his family can help him lighten the burden as they have to care for their sick sister around the clock.

Mohammad and his family receive social assistance through the Lebanese Government’s National Poverty Targeting Programme. Money is transferred to a card that can be used in specific stores to buy the food they need. Even though this barely covers their basic needs, they are at least able to purchase essential products and stand a bit on their feet.

© European Union 2019 / Johanna de Tessières

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