Lina, a mother of seven in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, depends on food aid for her family. She and her children, some of whom suffer from a skin disease, live in a makeshift shelter in one of thousands of so-called informal settlements throughout the country.
“Our situation is very difficult, helpless, what can I tell you,” Lina said. “If it wasn’t for the food assistance we get every month, I don’t know where we would be. My children are sick, as you can see. Many days I spend less, a lot less, on food to be able to afford medication. A lot, not just a little.”
In another tented settlement nearby, 13-year-old Lamia said she and her family arrived from the Syrian city of Raqaa four months earlier with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They don’t even have enough money to buy bread and are staying with relatives.
“In the morning the baker comes here, we pay on credit because we don’t have money,” she said. “We just borrow and borrow to eat. Then the grocer comes, but he doesn’t always sell on credit because we haven’t always been able to pay back. We keep telling them we will pay later.”