Fadia* is 46 years old, and her husband Hicham is a carpenter. He worked until the end of 2021 in one of the most important carpentry workshops in Tripoli. “My husband suffers from osteoarthritis in his hands, he can no longer work like before, that’s why he was kicked out,” says Fadia*, a mother of three children, the eldest of whom, a 22-year-old boy, tried in vain to travel. “My son left school before getting his certificate, but if he finds any job outside Lebanon, he may be able to leave and support us,” she says. “Today, he sells orange and carrot juice, not really carrot juice because there is no electricity to squeeze them,” she explains.
Fadia* is also trying to work. “I am a seamstress, I can make clothes and do alterations, but the city has become so impoverished that few people come to my house now,” she sighs.
Since Hicham* stopped working, the family who had bought the house where they live several years ago, stopped paying loans to the bank. “It’s not much, it’s 485,000 Lebanese pounds (the equivalent of 323 dollars before the devaluation, around 18 dollars now) but we don’t have them.” The family also stopped their generator subscription and now lives on one hour of electricity a day.
“The CARE vouchers were a dream come true. I did not do like the other people who received them. I saw them at the grocer’s, they were buying chocolate and sweets for the children. I thought about stocking up. I bought the ingredients needed to make dressings for salads and to cook well, such as olive oil and margarine. I took a lot of vegetables so the kids would eat healthy food, the meat we hadn’t eaten in months. I sold a lot of things to be able to eat before CARE intervened, like the microwave and the big television,” she says.