Why has buying food become more difficult for refugees in Lebanon?

Challenge Balloon

"Challenge" tasks require you to read a newspaper article and give your opinions on it, backed up with reasons. These tasks are designed to be more challenging than other activities on the Student Hub.


According to an article by Al Jazeera, food prices in in Lebanon have gone up by over 400 percent since 2019, while prices of diesel and petrol have also shot up.

This has had an effect on about one million Syrian refugees, of which 90 percent live in extreme poverty, according to the United Nations.

We have disabled comments for this particular article as it is a sensitive topic for some students. There is a range of opinions present in the comments below so we encourage you read the article and what other members of the Student Hub have to say.

Comments (19)

  • British Council.jpg easygoing_flower | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
    22 Apr 2022

    I am from Lebanon, and as much as it hurts talking about it, I want to talk.
    The economical crisis the country is going through is, well, burning people alive. The prices of everything increased dramatically in 3 years. People's wages are still the same and are not able to handle this change in prices. We abandoned lots of things we used to do and buy. Securing food is our only concern. Going to restaurants, parties, even having a birthday party costs a fortune. People are devastated.

    Syrian refugees are affected too. Lots of them live in tents unable to secure proper life from food and water to school and work. But the UN had done an amazing job helping them. The UN gives Syrian refugees a monthly aids, along with a monthly payment to help them. A monthly payment in dollars which in Lebanon now, if you get payed in dollars, you are considered rich because the change in currency won't affect you. So, thanks to the UN, a great number of Syrians are living a proper and stable life. A life better than Lebanese themselves. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on them. It's not their fault that our currency fell beneath the ground. Partially it is because their big number, but that's not our topic now. Again, I'm not hating on refugees.

    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      easygoing_flower's comment 22 Apr 2022

      Thank you for sharing these experiences, easygoing_flower. I edited your comment slightly to remove a sentence with sensitive content, but wanted to leave the rest so that other people can learn from your words.

    2. British Council.jpg contemplative_drum | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
      easygoing_flower's comment 22 Apr 2022

      I really agree in each sentence you said, I am lebanease too, and realistically now we live with a choice between food, shelter or education. We cannot secure food because of the prices, nor a good and safe shelter if we rent, as we cannot cover the costs. Also, education has become a problem in all directions.  First, because of the distance of schools, and we arn't able to secure oil for its exorbitant price, or online education because of the power cuts and the lack of internet access. The most important thing is that it is only in Lebanon that the state is against the citizen not on his side. Lebanon, since the Syrian crisis, has welcomed all refugees with open arms, but Lebanon today in its crisis bears 4.4 million citizens  and 1.5 million Syrian refugees It is also beyond his endurance. Nowadyas it became harmful to all citizens, not a shelter that protect us . It is a country of immigrant . And the most hurtful sentence said about lebanon " In Lebanon we don't enjoy our youth, we waste it".

      1. British Council.jpg easygoing_flower | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
        contemplative_drum's comment 25 Apr 2022

        The last sentence hit hard, but it really sums up our situation as the youth of Lebanon. And you're right, the government is against citizens. Beside Lebanon not being a host country, the government can't provide minimum life needs for their citizens, so what about 1.5 million Syrian refugees. And we do have thousands of other refugees too.

    3. British Council.jpg aware_painting | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
      easygoing_flower's comment 23 Apr 2022

      I think that the presence of Syrian refugees is not negative at all, as explained in your post, why did you not look at a positive perspective that the Syrians in Lebanon received a lot of sums and international aid aimed at supporting them and that money multiplied and the Syrians were supported with food baskets in your country Lebanon, the financial collapse of Lebanon was not Because of the Syrians, but I think it was because of the Syrian war and not the arrival of Syrian refugees, as Lebanon was affected at that time by cutting off international trade routes that reach the Gulf countries. Allow me, my dear, to stop suspending the failure of political, economic and parliamentary leaders from managing the crisis and attributing the cause to the refugees.. because they are researchers For stability and safety, and they do not have any political or even economic hatred in their pockets, except to search for a safe life and work to ensure stability. It is enough for them that they suffer and are refugees.

      1. British Council.jpg noble_dinosaur | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
        aware_painting's comment 25 Apr 2022

        I don't think there's anything in life that contains only positivity. For that, the refuge of Syrians carried both positives and negatives, however the negatives outweigh the positives. For example after the arrival of Syrians Refugees into Lebanon, the Syrians accepted working for dramatically low wages in construction sites for example, taking the opportunity from the Lebanese, to put it simply (1 to 4) in Lebanon's population are Syrians, way before the Syrian Refugees Crisis, the Lebanese Government couldn't even give out the rights for the Lebanese because of the massive corruption of the politicians, after the arrival of the Syrian Refugees, what do you think was the outcome? Aside from that, some tend to cut corners to earn a living whether Syrians or Lebanese because of the incapablity of the government to provide the needs for Syrians leaving the other side to act wrongfully. NOT TO BE RACIST, but please you asked to look at the positive perspective of this phenomenon, could you explain and clarify more?

      2. British Council.jpg easygoing_flower | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
        aware_painting's comment 25 Apr 2022

        The presence of Syrian Refugees did benefit Lebanon, a bit. But their huge number crushed the economy. The presence of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon is alot more complicated than you think. And no one will actually understand other than Lebanese.

  • British Council.jpg appreciative_pear | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    22 Apr 2022

    What children in Lebanon in general, and refugee children in particular, face is a clear violation of their right to access food, and securing it for all is an obligation of states, as one of the elements of the right to an adequate standard of living with economic, social and cultural rights, which I consider a fundamental right for all to be free from hunger; Also, securing food is an obligation on the states parties by their individual efforts and through international cooperation to take measures that include the tangible programs necessary to secure this right for all. The Convention on the Rights of the Child also obligates states parties to ensure: “Every child, without discrimination, has the right to education, health, protection and the right to a living adequate for his mental, physical, spiritual, moral and social development, and that states parties must take all necessary measures for this, foremost of which is to combat disease and malnutrition by providing good and sufficient food. Providing clean drinking water, providing necessary medical assistance and health care for all children, making primary education available and free, providing financial assistance when needed, and protecting it from economic exploitation.

  • British Council.jpg champion_elephant | Rhemaville Christian Academy | Nigeria
    22 Apr 2022

    Why else obviously because they are not seen as people of the community again we need more laws that favor refugees

  • British Council.jpg noble_dinosaur | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
    22 Apr 2022

    I'm Lebanese and for that I have seen and experienced the economical crisis and still. For that it's important to answer the 3rd question, the essential thing for the other communities to know about this story is that the Syrian refugees since before the crisis are getting a well amount of money in USD from the United Nations compared to the market back then it was a good salary to raise a family, and even more the refugees get paid more and more for every child they have, that's a reason also why the refugee camps are highly populated. Bringing up to the economical crisis nowadays if a person's wealth is in USD he/she isn't affected hugely by the crisis because of the black market USD rate, as the majority of Lebanese that their salaries are in Lebanese pound, Syrian refugees aren't that affected by the crisis after all, adding to that the UN even offer immigration for some Syrian refugees into Europe with no regard to the educational, or social background as a humanitarian act. After all I would say that even though Syrians have suffered a lot from the war and not much from the economic crisis in Lebanon, they are being well taken care of and are getting a financial compensation for what they have suffered.

  • British Council.jpg amazing_reflection | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
    23 Apr 2022

    Question 3:
    I think the most important thing for people in other countries to know about this story is how people are putting hands in hands to help each other, as Om Mohammad who is trying the best she can do for the other people who are in need, who are not able to have their Ramadan meal after a long day of fasting. Yes, it's important for people to know how people are standing for each other to fave this hard situation.
    On the other hand, some people would say that it's more important for the world to know what Lebanon is facing from serious problems and how most of its population are under the line of poverty from the extreme rise of prices, so that the world helps Lebanon and donate for it financial aids. Maybe this is important but what I mentioned first gives a moral lesson for the whole world to not stand and observe people dying, if you're able to act and save them do it, because humans are in need for each other.

  • British Council.jpg friendly_currency | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
    23 Apr 2022

    Due to the revolution that happened in 2019-2020 a certain changes occurred, but those changes played a huge role in the citizens themselves and on refugees cruelly. But to stand with the main reason which is “economical crisis” . Where the value of the Lebanese Lira decreased causing all the products to be expensive especially the ones of daily needs (oil, rice …) those that Lebanon import them from outside that relays on the exchange rate , where for Lebanese themselves find it expensive and to know that citizens have their work and salaries but what about the refugees who don’t have an official work and salary? In other hand , everyone nowadays has a transportation vehicle which needs fuels . Well , Lebanon also import such fuels from the outside which as well will be expensive, this issue will effect refugees negatively as they can’t afford it’s prices even if they wanted to go to work on their motorcycle ,car..
    Refugees are the on the first place where they get effected by every change in the country they took refugee to especially in Lebanon nowadays.

  • British Council.jpg willing_imagination | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    23 Apr 2022

    I believe that the reason for the difficulty of obtaining adequate food is the global rise in food prices. I also believe that the Ukrainian crisis with Russia had a major role in causing disruption in global markets, which negatively affected individuals.

  • British Council.jpg willing_imagination | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    23 Apr 2022

    I will choose the word (sadness) to express this story, which is really sad, because if this group fails its work and cannot continue, it means the condition of (1500) families who will lose their food and their source of strength. With bad conditions due to asylum and escaping from the scourge of war that may cause them more problems.

  • British Council.jpg genuine_memory | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    24 Apr 2022

    I chose the answer to the first question 1- I chose the word a country whose geography we do not know, and the reason for choosing it is that the refugees were in their country living in peace after their migration to a country they did not know. It is difficult for them to provide work to bring money and buy food for them, for example: like fighting over a land whose geography you do not know will be defeated 2- The second obstacle is the expensive food price and their national income, and this prevents them from buying food because he does not have enough money.

  • British Council.jpg pioneering_wilddog | Jabalia Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    24 Apr 2022

    Well in fact, what I can say about the story is (impossible), although it is not enough, that you can make hope out of despair is like recycling trash. Can you believe how many smiles these people planted, it is true that it is simple, but for the situation in Lebanon it is Wonderful .
    Countries have done a lot to help, providing money or food supplies even if the aid is simple, and I think that people know that, but with the huge numbers this calls for more, what they do is not enough, but this is all we can do!!
    And everyone should know that they are in great blessing. Whenever we talk about refugees, the difficult living situation, crises, and the lack of the most basic rights, yet there is resistance and hold, while we, we have a lot, but at the smallest things we sit waiting for someone to help us .

  • British Council.jpg trusting_pear | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
    25 Apr 2022

    Currently in Lebanon not only refugees who are suffering and starving but poor Lebanese citizens too.
    1. The ONE word i chose is CORRUPTION since it tells everything about the situation, the corrupted politicians stole citizens' money and crashed the country in hell. Since the spare of dollar decreased the rate of a buck skyroacketed.
    2. A lot of NGO's especially UNICEF are helping distribute food portions and rations for Syrian Refugees and poor people in general.

  • British Council.jpg fulfilled_peach | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    25 Apr 2022

    Why has it become more difficult for refugees in Lebanon to buy food? He believed that it was due to the Syrian war and not the arrival of Syrian refugees, as Lebanon was affected at that time. By cutting off international trade routes that reach the Gulf countries. I think that the Syrian refugees are also retaliated.. They are looking for stability and safety, and there is no political or even economic hatred in their pockets except for the search for a decent life, but thanks to the United Nations, a large number of Syrians live a decent and stable life. It is enough for them that they suffer while they are refugees. It is enough that they are (refugees), so most of them live in tents, unable to secure an adequate life from food and water to school and work. But the United Nations has done a great job helping them. I think they are not the main reason why it is difficult to buy food in Lebanon!

  • British Council.jpg content_river | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    25 Apr 2022

    Because there is not enough money for their needs, and there are no job opportunities to suffice the refugees, the prices of food also differ and the price rises, but they are in a country where they do not know who to help them, and the abundance of children and the lack of bearing the expenses, and also the high The cost of living and the lack of money, I think that life is difficult in exile

You must be logged in with Student Hub access to post a comment. Sign up now!