Around a third of Lebanon’s population lives in poverty, in a society where lavish opulence and desperate hardship are often only meters apart. Those in need are consistently neglected by the state. Whether it be working families struggling to pay the rent for their crumbling homes, the destitute living on the streets, or the elderly making it through old age with little assistance – the country’s support networks are desperately lacking.
A woman sits in front of her home in the Bourj Hammoud district of Beirut This family in Bourj Hammoud have two sons, the youngest of whom (pictured) is autistic They survive on the money the father makes from selling bananas on the street - roughly $267 a month. In a country where rent is high, the only home they can afford is full of rot This family are slightly better off, making $600 a month. Even still the house has damp - which aggravates their youngest child's asthma On the streets of Beirut, the number of people begging has increased in recent years Some have been begging for years, but many are newly impoverished The influx of over 930,000 Syrian refugees has increased the number of destitute people. This family is among thousands that have lost everything Some, like this young boy, drop out of school to work As poverty bites, people take desperate measures. This man was looking through bins in the Ain El Mreisseh neighborhood of Beirut There are, however, some services for the poor. The Darouna center in Furn el Chebbak invites elderly people to shower and eat breakfast in the morning The Asile Maronite nursing home in Ain el Remmaneh offers shelter to elderly Lebanese who could not otherwise afford it 87 year-old Marie has lived in the home in Ain el Remmaneh for 20 years. She never married, but would have liked to meet the right person. 87 year-old Mokarami has lived in the home for the past 15 years