Latest UNICEF report finds a dramatic deterioration in living conditions in Lebanon over the last six months, forcing more than half of families with at least one child to skip a day's meal.
The UN children's agency has called on Lebanon to take urgent action to protect children after it documented a spike in child labour rates and food insecurity since April.
"Urgent action is needed to ensure no child goes hungry, becomes sick, or has to work rather than receive an education," UNICEF's Lebanon representative Yukie Mokuo said on Tuesday.
Lebanon is grappling with its worst-ever financial crisis, with nearly 80 percent of the population estimated to be living below the poverty line.
UNICEF in October followed up with the more than 800 families it had surveyed in April and found that since then living conditions had deteriorated dramatically.
"The future of an entire generation of children is at stake," it said in its latest report titled "Surviving without the basics".
The survey found 53 percent of families had at least one child who skipped a meal in October 2021, compared with 37 percent in April.
Living with bare minimum
The number of families who send children to work rose from nine percent to 12 percent, UNICEF added.
The report also said almost 34 percent of children who required primary health care in October did not receive it, up from 28 percent in April.
"Life is very hard. It is becoming harder every day," Hanan, a 29-year-old mother said.
"Today I sent my four children to school without food.”
"I have suicidal thoughts and the only thing stopping me from doing this is my children. I feel so bad for them."
Amal, a 15-year-old who works as a fruit-picker in southern Lebanon, said she had to take up the job to support her family.
"Our parents need the money we earn. What would they do if we stopped working now?"
READ MORE: Lebanon currency plunges to hit new low as economic crisis deepens
READ MORE: Lebanon faces more blackouts as generators run low on fuel