"We hope from God that our situation changes, that it improves a bit."
Mohammad, father of a one-and-a-half-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl, lives in Khyara where he works and tries to provide sustenance to his family and three sisters.
“I have a car and I work but I don’t get far; I just stay in my region here. I have some vegetables (tomatoes and cucumbers) and I sell them from my car. All day long,” explains Mohammad, “I drive around to sell some products and make some money to provide for the house.”
However, what he is able to make is not close enough to support the needs of his family. “The girls are just at home, they don’t work anymore. One of my sisters got sick and her illness really affected us,” he adds.
Treatment for his sister is very expensive and the other sisters have to constantly take care of her. Mohammad’s daughter used to attend school but he is now unable to cover her tuition. “We don’t have anything [...] I am on my own running around to provide for the kids and to try and get by,” he says.
With the support of the EU Trust Fund, however, the World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting families like Mohammad’s through the Lebanese Government’s National Poverty Targeting Programme. For the past five months, with the rechargeable e-card he received, Mohammad has been able to buy essential products for the household like rice, tea, lentils, oil and burghul. “Our situation was very bad and we could barely make it,” says Mohammed. He continues: “My sisters [...] used to work in the field but ever since my sister got sick, they are at home to take care of her. We borrowed money from a lot of people.”
He explains that WFP’s cash assistance at least gives them a little push and a chance to afford something to eat. “At least now we can stand a bit on our feet,” he says. “The Syrian crisis has nothing to do with [this situation]. We cannot provide for our kids or ourselves. We can’t send the children to school, we can’t get medical treatment.”
Mohammad is a regular client in Mahmoud’s shop. “He comes in every 15 or 16 of the month when his card is recharged to buy some food. He is from one of the poorest families in the area. He buys products that can help sustain him and we offer the best service we can, from delivery to giving discounts so he can get by,” says Mahmoud.