Beirut, 30 January 2022 (TDI): A UNICEF survey conducted recently shows how Lebanon is on the brink of collapse. UNICEF urged people to support Lebanese youth who are struggling with the impacts of this economic meltdown. 

In their survey, UNICEF declared that this chaos was preceded by catalysts. The combined impact of an economic meltdown, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020 Beirut Port explosion.

These three major events are forcing youth from all backgrounds to take on responsibilities beyond their ages. Consequently, those events impact their mental health and access to opportunities. 

Moreover, more and more young people are dropping out of education to engage in ill-paid, irregular, and informal work. The youth is doing that to generate whatever income they can to help their families cope with the mounting challenges.

In addition, UNICEF’s new assessment shows that 3 in 10 young people in Lebanon have stopped their education. Similarly, 4 in 10 reduced spending on education to buy essential items like basic food and medicine.

The unprecedented crisis has left the majority of Lebanese economically vulnerable and more than 90% of Syrians living in poverty. This is also taking a heavy emotional toll on young people, who often feel their prospects for a better life are looking dimmer by the day.

In September 2021, UNICEF conducted a Youth-Focused Rapid Assessment (YFRA). They interviewed around 900 youth and adolescents aged 15 to 24 across Lebanon. One in four reported often feeling depressed and just over half the respondents said their lives worsened over the past year.

Findings of UNICEF YFRA Survey 
    • 13% of families sent children under 18 to work as a coping strategy.
    • Almost 1 in 2 people reduced expenses on health.
    • More than 4 in 10 people reduced spending on education to buy basic food, medicine, and essential items. 
    • 3 in 10 people completely stopped their education.
    • Only 6 out of 10 people received primary health care when they needed it.
    • Working youth had an average monthly income of 1,600,000 Lebanese pounds (LBP) – equivalent to about US$64 at the parallel market rate.
    • For Syrian youth in Lebanon, this number is about half, equivalent to a daily income of around US$1 a day.
    • Enrollment in educational institutions dropped from 60 percent in 2020-2021 to 43 percent in the current academic year.


The UNICEF Adolescent and Youth program’s core response to the crisis centered on addressing the growing vulnerabilities of young people – aged 15-24 – not in education, employment or training.

UNICEF has adopted a holistic and integrated approach to learning, economic empowerment, skill-building, active citizenship, and protection. Nonetheless, UNICEF reached close to 60,000 young people across Lebanon in 2021.

The main goal is to increase professional readiness among the most disadvantaged young people in Lebanon. While at the same time empowering them to become more active members of their community.

GAPS FOR 2022 AND 2023

Meanwhile, UNICEF requires more than $20 million in 2022 and the same amount in 2023 to reach 25,000 young people per year. With an integrated package of services to improve foundational, digital, vocational, and life skills and increase access to income-generating opportunities.

Finally, funding will also support the expansion of volunteer and civic engagement initiatives. In addition to digital learning opportunities and will support greater access and improved mental health services for young people.