Lebanon’s Prisons Face Acute Food Shortages Amid Economic Crisis

by Ella

Lebanon, September 22, 2023 – The dire conditions within Lebanon’s prison system have taken a turn for the worse as inmates grapple with severe food shortages. This issue compounds the already challenging circumstances faced by detainees, highlighting the strain on the country’s correctional facilities amid its ongoing economic turmoil.

One such case is that of Rabea, a low-level drug dealer hailing from Tripoli in northern Lebanon. In 2017, he was apprehended with two kilograms of hashish, leading to a five-year incarceration at Qubbah Prison, which was already teeming with residents from his neighborhood. Rabea was well aware of the lengthy delays in court proceedings and the overcrowded cells, where 60 inmates rotated sleeping on the floor amidst the presence of gangs and frequent conflicts.


However, the situation took an even more distressing turn for Rabea in 2019, midway through his sentence, as Lebanon’s economy plunged into a catastrophic meltdown. This economic crisis, marked by a staggering 40% contraction in the country’s GDP, has wreaked havoc within its prison system. Scarce food and medical supplies, exacerbated by an inmate population that has surged to 323% of prison capacity, have ignited a crisis of unprecedented proportions.


The economic turmoil has left Lebanon’s correctional facilities grappling with a profound scarcity of resources, leaving prisoners in increasingly dire straits. Inadequate access to food and medical attention has not only posed a grave threat to the well-being of inmates but has also fueled a surge in violence within the already overburdened prison walls.


Lebanon’s prison crisis underscores the multifaceted impact of the country’s economic meltdown, extending its ramifications to the most vulnerable segments of society. As the nation grapples with an ongoing economic crisis, the dire conditions within its correctional facilities demand immediate attention and intervention to alleviate the suffering of incarcerated individuals who find themselves caught in the crossfire of economic devastation.




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