Lina* is 62 years old and her husband Elie*is 71. Until his retirement a few years ago, Elie* was a school bus driver. “We have never been rich but we have never lived in need. Before the crisis in Lebanon, we did not reach out to anyone. My husband had received his severance pay. My daughter worked and her husband lived in Kuwait and could help us. But since 2019 things have changed a lot, ” she says.
Lina* prefers to keep quiet about the details of her life. “No one knows apart from our loved ones the poverty in which we live. With the doors and windows closed, we hide our misery,” she says.
“At the start of the crisis, Elie* tried to work to earn money. He wanted to become a fisherman, we live near the port of Tripoli but my husband is old. He can’t do anything anymore,” she adds.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lina*’s son-in-law, established in Kuwait, returned to Lebanon. He has since tried to do odd jobs to survive. But he can neither pay rent nor provide for his wife and three children, aged 10, 6, and 3. “They all live with us and my married son helps us pay the rent. Children need everything. We can deprive ourselves, even of our medicines, which have become very expensive, but children need a lot to grow up healthy. My husband and I take our medicine intermittently when someone helps us buy it,” she says.
“It was happiness for us to receive the vouchers from CARE International. I was able to buy fruits, vegetables, meat, and chicken. This is crucial for children. It’s as if I could lift my head a little above the water. Before these vouchers, I didn’t even go to the vegetable and fruit shops or the butcher anymore because I couldn’t buy anything. Everything has become so expensive,” she says.