BEIRUT – A report released by UNICEF on Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian youth aged 15-24 in Lebanon indicates that three in 10 young people have stopped their education, while four in 10 have reduced spending on education to buy basic necessities like food and medicine.
Here’s what we know:
• Lebanon’s triple crisis, combining an economic meltdown, COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut port explosion, forced youth to drop out of education and engage in “ill-paid, irregular and informal work” to generate money and support their families, the report states.
• The report, titled “Searching for Hope,” noted that 31 percent of young people are not in education, employment or training, and that enrollment in educational institutions dropped from 60 percent last academic year to 43 percent in the current academic year among the studied age group.
• Seven in 10 adolescents were considered unemployed and without any source of income, the report said, and one in every two young people reduced spending on healthcare, while only six in 10 received primary health care when they needed it.
• The triple crisis led to an increase in mental health issues among young people. Around one out of four adolescents in Lebanon suffers from a psychiatric disorder, according to the report.
• In a press conference held Friday, UNICEF Lebanon Representative Ettie Higgins said that working youth have an average monthly income of about LL1,600,000, which is equivalent to $64 at the parallel market exchange rate. As for Syrian adolescents in Lebanon, their daily income is $1 per day.
• “Young people in Lebanon urgently need support. Investments are needed to ensure financial concerns do not prevent them from getting the education and skills they need to eventually find decent work and contribute to the stability and prosperity of Lebanon,” said Higgins.