The UN said on Thursday that Lebanon’s water supply system is on the verge of collapse, putting the health of millions of people, particularly children, at risk.
“Lebanon has managed to stave off a total collapse of its water infrastructure, but water supply systems remain on the brink,” UNICEF has warned.
“While a total collapse of public water supply networks has so far been averted, the crisis has not been resolved and millions of people are affected by the limited availability of clean and safe water,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon.
Beigbeder said that access to water is a basic need and a fundamental right of every human being, calling on the Lebanon government to work to resolve the crisis.
UNICEF said it needs $75 million a year to keep critical systems operational and the water flowing to over four million people across the country and to safeguard access and operation of the public water systems.
In Lebanon, public sectors have been unable to provide sufficient water to their customers, largely as a result of the power crisis, but also because they are unable to afford parts, repairs, and diesel, amid spiraling inflation.
“Critically, the water crisis affects hospitals and other health centers, as well as schools,” UNICEF said in a statement. UNICEF stressed that water supply through public operators remains the best and most affordable solution.
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