Lebanon’s crisis forces youth to drop out of school: UNICEF

Beirut: Lebanon’s crisis is increasingly forcing young people to drop out of school and engage in ill-paid, irregular and informal work to survive and help feed their families, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a report released on Friday. Dubbed “Searching for Hope,” the report states that more than four in 10 youths in Lebanon reduced spending on education to buy basic food, medicine and other essential items, and three in 10 stopped their education altogether. It added that the enrollment in Lebanese educational institutions dropped from 60 per cent in 2020-2021 to 43 per cent in the current academic year. Ettie Higgins, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Lebanon, urged for much-needed support for young people in Lebanon. “Investments are needed to ensure financial concerns do not prevent them from getting the education and skills they need to eventually find decent work and contribute to the stability and prosperity of Lebanon,” he said. While more and more young people are forced to drop out of education, they often find themselves ill-equipped to compete for increasingly scarce jobs and frequently end up taking up low-paid jobs in the informal sector, according to the report. It also noted that working youth have an average monthly income of about 1,600,000 Lebanese pounds, equivalent to about 64 US dollars at the black-market rate. UNI/XINHUA MYK RKM

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