Middle East

Lebanon: Northern Tripoli in need of dire financial aid

Local authorities call on Muslim countries to provide assistance to province where poverty rate exceeds 70%

Mahmut Geldi   | 18.02.2021
Lebanon: Northern Tripoli in need of dire financial aid

BEIRUT

The city of Tripoli in Lebanon is in dire need of financial support as it is in its worst economic crisis that has been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Local officials are urging the international community for assistance to the northern city that has become the poorest in the Mediterranean after decades of neglect.

Tripoli has the highest poverty rate in Lebanon, according to Tripoli Municipality Council member and head of the Cultural Heritage Committee, Halid Tadmori.

“The poverty rate has now exceeded 70%, while the unemployment rate is more than 60%,” Tadmori told Anadolu Agency. “Primary school dropout rate in the region is over 40%.”

He called on all “brotherly Arab and Muslim countries” to provide assistance on behalf of residents.

“I regret to say that no project has been carried out for the development of Tripoli for decades. The city, which hosts many historical artifacts belonging to the Byzantines, Mamluks and Ottomans, was neglected by the authorities,” said Mayor Riyad Yamak.

“I live in a one-room house with my sick husband and six children. Water dripping from the room ceiling in the winter,” Sare Mohammed Jamal Debbag, a resident, told Anadolu Agency.

“We have no financial means to buy milk or diapers for our baby. Some days we can't find food. I feed my children by dipping the bread distributed by the philanthropists in water,” she said.

The financial crisis was made worse by a massive blast on Aug. 4 that rocked the Beirut Port and killed more than 200 people.

The explosion that caused massive destruction in the capital, came at a time when Lebanon was reeling under a crippling economic crisis, amid a struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Lebanon has not yet been able to form a new government, since Hassan Diab's government resigned six days after the catastrophic explosion.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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