UNICEF warns millions in Lebanon could lose access to safe drinking water

BEIRUT — The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) stated that more than 4 million people, including 1 million refugees, are at risk of losing access to safe drinking water in Lebanon.

“The inability to pay the cost of maintenance, the collapse of the electricity network, and the risks of the high cost of fuel will lead to the gradual suspension of most water pumping stations in Lebanon within a maximum period of a month and a half,” read a statement released by UNICEF.

Meanwhile, the Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon warned of a health catastrophe due to the continuous power cuts and the lack of fuel to operate generators amid a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the hospitals are unable to obtain fuel to run the generators, which will endanger the lives of patients. It called on officials to work immediately to solve this problem.

In related news, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Washington, D.C., stated that, “after the resignation of Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, hope began to weaken.”

“Qatar is trying to play a role in Lebanon and push it towards forming a government that undertakes the wide reforms that are needed until the elections,” he concluded.