Ksarnaba is a small town in Baalbek District, which is located in central-eastern Lebanon in Baalbek-Hermel Governorate. While this region spans over 40% of Lebanon’s land area, it is home to just over 12% of the population.
Due to the mountainous terrain and limited road access, many towns in the region are geographically quite isolated and government presence has traditionally been minimal here. Consequently, Ksarnaba is one of the most isolated and neglected area of the country, having fewer than 3,000 inhabitants.
Since 2006, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Ksarnaba.
More than half of the Lebanese families in Baalbek-Hermel are living in poverty, unable to meet the basic cost of living. Home to some of the country’s most vulnerable children, many in Baalbek-Hermel are eating smaller, less nutritious meals or skipping meals, putting children at grave risk of malnutrition.
Malnutrition risks damaging a child’s health now, and in the future. It can affect their physical and mental development, from an inability to concentrate in school to poor cognitive function; poor growth and well-being; and a weakened immune system, resulting in illness and disease.
With a worsening economic situation, a third of households have needed to cut their spending on education. The rising price of fuel has hindered families' efforts to bring their children to school, and most are forced to study without textbooks. At least 15% of families in Lebanon have stopped their children’s education. Missing school is closely linked to child labour and child marriage. The consequences of a poor educational background can be profound, including poor employment prospects, restricted social and emotional development. This also increased vulnerability to emotional, physical and criminal exploitation.