Lebanon crisis: Fuel shortages hit the school run

For the first time in nearly two years, Lebanese children are heading back to school, after the global health crisis and widespread protests interrupted face-to-face teaching.

But, as schools prepare to open their doors at the start of the academic year, crippling fuel shortages and the country’s ongoing financial crisis are challenging parents and putting the education sector under fresh strain.

Father of three Omar Mansour now walks his daughter to school as he can no longer afford school bus fees and he has no fuel to drive her.

"I walked from work to take my daughter home (from school), because she is young, she is in the 4th grade, and then I'll have to walk back to work too. I can't even find a shared taxi, and there is no fuel for a motorcycle or a car."

As Lebanon’s financial collapse continues to worsen, three quarters of the country’s population has fallen into poverty and the local currency has lost 90% of its value in the past two years.

Teacher Lamia Taleb explains she is struggling to make ends meet as the crisis has stripped salaries of their value and demolished purchasing power.

"I have my car's fuel tank half full, I am driving (my son) to school, once my car is empty from fuel, my son will stay home.”

Lebanon’s education system was once prized throughout the Middle East and ranked tenth globally by the World Economic Forum. But it is now on its knees.

Lebanon’s financial meltdown has meant that across the country fuel shortages are affecting almost every sector, leaving many increasingly reliant on private generators.

After a year of political deadlock, Lebanon's new Prime Minister Najib Mikati, took office this month vowing to tackle the crisis.

The new government has also been urged by a group of Lebanon’s bondholders - that include some of the world’s biggest investment funds - to begin debt restricting talks as soon as possible to try and address the situation.

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