Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Lebanon – Negative Wheat Supply Shock

Lebanon – Negative Wheat Supply Shock

Contributors: Amin Ghobar, Basilio Diaz, Daniel Raidan, Sally Harb, Stephany Said, and Wissam Malaeb.

Wheat Supply and Food Insecurity in Lebanon

A principal element to boost food security in developing countries is matching the demand for wheat as it is one of the world’s most crucial staple crops. Lebanon, with almost 46% of its households being food insecure, imports around 80% of its food needs and is highly dependent on soft wheat to make Arabic flatbread.

Due to the crippling economic crisis in Lebanon, the diminishing foreign reserves to subsidize wheat imports, the Beirut Port Blast that led to the destruction of the grain silos, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine that had an effect on the supply chain and the wheat prices, Lebanon has been struggling with a negative wheat supply shock.

Lebanon’s Current Situation and the Effects on Wheat Resources and Supplies

The country is facing one of the most devastating economic crises globally since the mid-19th century. The Lebanese currency’s more than 90% value loss against the US Dollar, the inflation rate that exceeded 200%, and the grain reserves lost after the destruction of the Beirut Port – that stored around 85% of the country’s cereals with a maximum capacity of 120,000 metric tons of grain – contributed to the problem at hand. Additionally, Russia and Ukraine supply Lebanon with 70% – 80% of its wheat demand. After the invasion, wheat prices increased drastically and Lebanon, a bankrupt country, was unable to fight in the bidding war.

Moreover, the smuggling of subsidized flour and wheat to the Syrian market and the need to fulfill the nutritious needs of the 1.3 million Syrian refugees on the Lebanese grounds made the food security response an immediate priority.

In terms of Lebanon’s agricultural nature, the country relies on the import of wheat because available land that is viable for farming is not enough to meet the country’s demands and make Lebanon self-sufficient. The consumption demand in Lebanon is topped at 450,000 metric tons, and local wheat production only produces around 10-15% of such demand.


Lebanon needs to start implementing short-term and long-term fixes as the citizens are grappling to afford the increasing prices of bread in a country with a limited number of reserves.

Therefore, we came up with solutions that are divided into two levels of fixes

Short-term Fixes

Pursue avenues to continue subsidizing the price of bread. An example of that would be the “Lebanon Wheat Emergency Response Project” where a $150 million loan from the World Bank was taken that will be used in funding the imports for approximately six to nine months.

Long-term Fixes

Support farmers and develop irrigation programs to help increase local production of the wheat market up until it makes up 50% of Lebanon’s total supply. However, Lebanon can only have a 10% to 15% increase every year according to a study done by the Ministry of Agriculture. This means that it could take 5 to 6 years to reach the goal stated above.

In addition to that, rebuilding Lebanon’s national grain reserve by reconstructing the Beirut port silos and building two new storage silos nearby is another solution. This would cost $100 million and would create six months’ worth of reserves at any given time. Many countries have shown interest in helping Lebanon build those.

Finally, turning to the Ministry of Agriculture’s large and rent-free warehouses in Beqaa should be considered, as the government has been relying on private mills for storage which keeps storage levels on a day-to-day basis and paves the way for black markets. These warehouses only need some maintenance and would be ready for use.

Wave after wave: the Lebanese Brain Drain

Wave after wave: the Lebanese Brain Drain

Yara Haddad, Diana Matar, Nouha Abardazzou, Malek Ben Abdallah, Bashir Choucair

Abu Mazen, a 60 year old Lebanese man spends his days searching for a job opportunity in order to be able to provide to his disabled wife, and to make use of his capabilities.
Em Mazen holds her tears everyday while talking to Mazen, who is now working abroad due to lack of stability and security in his country, and to be able to support his family.
Sarah, the sister of Mazen, is trying to find a way to tell her parents that she won’t be able to visit Lebanon these holidays, because she is still not allowed to take vacations from her work, and because she can’t afford it.
This is the story of thousands of Lebanese homes. Who from us hasn’t said goodbye to a dear family member, friend, or even colleague in the past 4 years? Why? Economic crises, political corruption, Covid-19, lack of basic needs, currency inflation, third biggest explosion in the world, loss of all their savings and homes… and yet, the resilient part of Lebanese – the one who can still afford it – is still trying survive in this country.

Emigration in Lebanon

Emigration has long been a part of Lebanon’s history. Through different emigration waves, the economic situation of the country served as the “push factor” to leave. Amid the outburst of Lebanon’s aggravating political and economic crises, it is believed that a new significant wave of emigrants has unfolded marked by an increase of 4.5 times in the number of emigrants from Lebanon, between 2020 and 2021.

Lebanon has known large waves of emigration, making out of the Lebanese diaspora one of the largest in the world and is now estimated to be larger than the country’s population itself. The emigration waves in Lebanon are usually classified in three main waves.  The first emigration wave goes back to years 1970 and 1975, where the number of emigrants reached 10,000 up from 8,000 between 1960 and 1970, and 3,000 between 1945 and 1960. The second wave goes back to 1975 till 1989 during the civil war, where almost 990,000 people left the country, accounting for 40% of the total population. The third wave is more recent starting by 2019 and still ongoing.

This third ongoing wave of mass emigration is said to be the most severe and is anticipated to create a persistent drag on Lebanon’s economy and disrupts its growth, with more than 79,134 Lebanese people emigrating in 2021.

Lebanese Brain Drain

Lebanese professionals, academics and youth are choosing to leave the country for better opportunities abroad. This phenomenon is popularly known as brain drain. Brain drain has numerous and interconnected effects on both the country and its companies, which usually blurs the line between cause and effect.
Recent reports are highlighting that 20 percent of Lebanese doctors have left or are planning to leave while it is estimated that over 1,500 members of faculty and staff have either been let go or have left the American University of Beirut and its subsidiary medical center during the past two years.

To better understand the push factors aggravating the brain drain phenomenon in Lebanon, we are exploring previous studies to identify the main determinants of the decision to emigrate. The tackled studies highlight the role of aggregate economy, political stability and the environment. These studied factors are a reflection of the country’s economic environment mainly economic activity, political stability and employment levels.

Lebanon is currently witnessing a significant number of political and economic problems; we will focus mainly on government’s corruption, slow economic growth and youth unemployment rate.

1. Government’s Corruption:
Lebanon ranks 154th of 180 countries on the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International with a score of 24 points out of 100. Over recent years, Lebanon’s score plummeted from 30 in 2012 to 24 in 2021.

2. Economic Growth:
The unfolding economic and financial crisis which has started in 2019 has been further aggravated by the dual economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive explosion of Beirut Port in August 2020.  Based on the World’s Bank data, GDP per capita dropped by 36.5% between 2019 and 2021, and Lebanon was reclassified by the World Bank as a lower-middle income country, down from upper middle-income status.

3. Youth Unemployment:
Based on the labor force survey conducted in January 2022, almost a third of Lebanon’s labor force is out of work, while the unemployment rate among the youth (15-24 years old) has reached 47.8 percent. The survey reveals that the unemployment rate increased to 29.6 percent in 2022, while the labor force participation rate is at 43.4 percent.

The trendline of Lebanese emigrants desire to leave
  • Emigration by Gender and Age:

The Lebanese most willing to leave are the ones who are at an active age (25-44) followed by youth (15-25). It is observed that 42.18% of the Lebanese aged between 25-44 want to emigrate out of which 44.54% are female and 40.08% are male.

  • Reasons of Emigration:

Out of the studied group, more than 88% of the surveyed people stated that the current economic situation in Lebanon is the reason why they want to leave. Another 4.46% indicated that their desire to leave is backed up by their wish to study abroad while another 2.27% claimed that they are mainly considering leaving to find better job opportunities abroad. Other reasons to emigrate is the reunion with family or getting married, but this represents a mere 0.98% of the respondents.

Starting with little to no available data on the panoply of brain drain in Lebanon, the above data validated two important points to our study. First, that indeed the people who are mostly concerned by this third wave of emigration are the youth and active population (age group: 15-25 and 25-44). Second, that the key factor pushing Lebanese to leave is the current economic situation and the pursuit of better opportunities abroad. The deterioration in the economic situation is dire and could become even worse if corrective measures and safety nets are not introduced.

A call for action

The first imperative for policy makers is to create opportunity for both its local talents and the highly skilled Lebanese who are living abroad.

A- Retain Local Talent:

  • Analysis of jobs with open vacancies

The Lebanese Government can make an analysis/study to find out what are the sectors that have the highest employment need in Lebanon, and encourage high school students to enroll in related majors and attend workshops organized by the government specifically to train them for these jobs. This could be a long term solution to keep the educated people in Lebanon.

  • Increased investments in public schools and universities

Public schools and universities are home for more than 53% of the Lebanese population who cannot afford to enroll in private schools and universities. However, these institutions are not well-equipped nor taken care of: professors are not well paid and therefore are always on strikes, facilities are not available, classes are not well organized… Students who graduate from these schools are already fed up with the situation, and are automatically on the look for new opportunities outside their country.
By investing in these schools and universities, the government would be giving these students better opportunities and retain them to invest later on in their country.

  • Promote innovation and startup ecosystem

“It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes an ecosystem to scale an innovation.”
Government agencies should promote innovation by offering incentives and loans to entrepreneurs who would like to start their own business by creating new services or products. The rise of these new companies would lead to new employment opportunities and therefore hiring local talents in their country, in addition to an economic upswing.

  • Collaboration of the Lebanese Government with Organizations like WorldBank to create projects to improve living conditions in Lebanon (provide electricity, clean water, etc…)

Lebanon has hit rock-bottom after almost 3 years of economic crises, increase in poverty, and most importantly loss of its basic needs including electricity, water, and fuel. This has been determined to be one of the main reasons of the brain drain. Therefore, the government can collaborate with organizations like World Bank to secure a budget to be able to create projects that would enable the Government to provide constant electricity to the citizens, in addition to other major needs.

B- Attract High Skilled Émigrés:

  • Support networking and recruitment of the Lebanese diaspora:

Lebanon can encourage and support the networking of its diaspora through its international delegations (e.g., embassies, consulates). The government can start benefitting from its emigrants before reaching the level where it can attract their return. A network of talented and skilled Lebanese emigrants can benefit both the government and the private sector through leveraging the business connections, knowledge and expertise of the Lebanese of the world.

  • Leverage Émigrés expertise to formulate government policy:

It is necessary to recognize the large and untapped scientific, innovative and creative potential of Lebanese living abroad. The government needs to foster a rapprochement with its expat community with highly qualified individuals and actively encourage the creation of projects in their home country. The expertise of Lebanese emigrants can be leveraged as a resource in formulating government policies as they can serve as advisers to government officials to build adequate measures to incentivize the return of émigrés to invest in their home country.

  • Database of Émigrés:

Building up on the two first measures, the Ministry of emigrants can establish an emigrant database to serve as a track tool to allocate Lebanese talents abroad. The Ministry can collaborate with interested stakeholders to advertise for key jobs and positions that require the return of high-skilled Lebanese. The Ministry of Education can also recruit Lebanese emigrants as visiting lecturers for the country’s universities.

  • Return campaigns:

Policymakers need to market the attractiveness of Lebanon as an investment market to its emigrants.  This means considering specific return campaigns centered around major technology projects; mobilizing targeted human resources for earmarked projects and creating attractive and favorable conditions to attract professionals who are abroad to engage in the development of innovation in Lebanon.

  • Investment Incentives:

Public institutions and the national finance and corporate sector are invited to open up to investors from the expatriate community, and to adopt, to this end, effective mechanisms to sponsor, accompany and partner with Lebanese residing abroad.

Conclusion & Recommendations:

To conclude, based on our study, we can confidently recommend an increase in the government engagement to create deals and projects to improve living conditions in Lebanon. This would make both Lebanese living in Lebanon stay and those abroad return. More efforts from the government and its partners need to be made to cushion the economic shock that would be felt in the coming years due to the ongoing emigration wave.
Another recommendation is for the government to take proper measure to monitor the ongoing mass emigration by collecting sufficient and updated data on Lebanese emigrants. The availability of accurate data would help in understanding the panoply and the seriousness of this ongoing problem. The involved stakeholders are called to take matters in hands and act accordingly to improve access to information with the objective to limit the brain drain problem and contain its future ramifications.

The Lebanese Crisis: The Deterioration of the Lebanese Pound

The Lebanese Crisis: The Deterioration of the Lebanese Pound

Contributors: Haidar Noureddine, Christy BouMansour, Haya Mouakeh, Jennifer Sabra, Hanine Charanek, Mohamad Kanj

The Downfall of the Lebanese Lira

Abu Ali, a farmer living in Beqaa valley in Lebanon was facing problems with his apples crops after he was forced to cut the pesticides used because of the price increase after the Lebanese crisis.
He wasn’t sure how to protect his crops after he put a lot of effort during the year and now he is worried because he doesn’t have any source of income anymore.
Ibrahim Tarshishy, who is also a farmer in Beqaa valley, was not able to sell all his apple crops where half of them got moldy. “To be honest, I don’t expect the days ahead to be good. I see before us more depression, sadness and poverty”, said Ibrahim Tarshishy, a farmer in Riyak region, Lebanon”
Like these two cases, lot of farmers were facing like these problems, and no one was able to help them, and as we reach the conclusion of 2022, Lebanon’s financial woes are rapidly approaching the critical stage, and the Lira exchange rate is reaching a breaking record.

The Lebanese Lira exchange rate decreased because the supply for dollar was not enough to match the demand, and the central bank did not have enough reserves to interfere and match it with the demand. The demand for dollars was mainly driven by the aim to complete imports transactions. Since 2002, the net trade balance was negative, and the deficit was growing, reaching very high levels to around $14 Billion in 2014. This means that imports were higher than exports, and so the dollars outflow was bigger than the inflow.

To maintain the exchange rate fixed, as it was the case earlier, Lebanon used to depend on two main sources for dollars inflow, net transfers sources, and financial account source. First, Lebanon used to depend on transfers which includes grants, loans, and personal remittances. The graph below shows that net transfers were bringing a significant amount of dollars. However, this source is very unstable. It is very fluctuating, and it depends highly on uncontrolled factors like the help from other countries that we can not control as shown in the graph.

The financial account consists mainly of Eurobonds, and investments in companies, and currency & deposits coming from abroad into the Lebanese banks. As shown, this account was a huge source for dollar inflow. However, again, it is very unstable, and very fluctuating. There are almost no two similar points that are equal. Further, it depends highly on uncontrolled factors. For example, after Iraq invasion, so many Iraqis transferred their money into the Lebanese banks, and so the dollar inflow increased, but this happened because an event that we do not have control over it.

These two accounts together were balancing the dollar demand needed from the imports. In cases of mismatch between dollar supply and demand, the central bank used to interfere by buying or selling dollars in the market to keep the exchange rate fixed. However, in 2018, we had the second largest BOP deficit as shown below, which means the second largest dollar shortage, but the central bank did not have enough reserves which caused the current crisis.

In summary, the crisis started mainly in 2018. However, the root reason behind it is not the absence of reserves, but that Lebanon was depending mainly on unstable sources of inflow for foreign currencies, which was very risky, and unstable to maintain because of the fluctuations.


To further enrich Lebanon’s economy, we introduce our project that aims on focusing on sustainable economic development that relies on an integrated export system, naturally creating tons of job opportunities by enhancing Lebanon’s agricultural sector due to the presence of fertile land, abundant water resources, good weather conditions .
The project will control the process from harvesting to exporting, and starting with enforcing regulations that benefit the farmers instead of making it harder for them to export their goods, implementing technical guides that monitors farmers’ techniques into adopting good agricultural transactions, as well as adopting training workshops administered agricultural engineers also supplying them with the latest and greatest equipment that regulate water usage while limiting their use of unsustainable substances, such as harmful pesticides, and providing alternatives that are viable.

Saudi Arabia

Now, since Saudi Arabia is infamous for its totally dry lands and a central region that is characterized by extremely hot and dry summers, it harbors a very limited agricultural sector and thus heavily relies on importing olive oil as well as basic produce. We should make use of the current improving relationship between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and prioritize exportation to this country due to the low and reasonable shipping fees.

1-Olive oil

The olive oil market in Saudi Arabia needs a lot of importation as a change in dietary habits throughout the entire country has spurred the consumption of it. Saudi Arabia started importing about 30,000 tons annually while only producing 20% of its own olive oil, but that’s slowly changing as it’s heading towards an independent olive oil market realm that’ll eventually decrease the exports. We won’t focus on increasing the imports from Lebanon but on decreasing the shipping and customs fees that were introduced in June of 2020.


As we mentioned above, a huge change in dietary habits and healthy eating have welcomed Saudi lifestyles, thus making produce, especially apples, way higher in demand. Lebanon exports apples to Saudi Arabia in relatively low quantities as opposed to other countries because of strict pesticide regulations. To increase the exports, we should introduce strict laws that modulate their usage.


Lebanon’s avocado exports were totally banned in Saudi Arabia because of drug smuggling fiascos, which led the Saudi government to enforce harsh consequences that will only be salvageable by an examining process that helps avoid any trials of smuggling drugs.


Cyprus makes a great exporter as well, as it only holds 14.52% of agricultural land that is extremely affected by small temperature inconsistencies. Our focus on Cyprus is mainly due to the distance from Lebanon, which is only 26 kilometers, making it extremely easy for shipments to move within those countries.

1-Olive oil

The olive oil market in Cyprus is in a desperately high demand since the consumption of olive oil is three times greater than what the country produces. Because of this, we should encourage exports from Lebanon in a way that competes with both Germany and Spain, since they’re offering their olive oil at similar and lower prices.


Considering Cyprus is one of the most countries with apple shortage, it exports most of its apple supply excluding Lebanon from its exportations because of a heavily regulated pesticide system, solving that issue requires us introducing strict pesticide laws, after that we can start exporting to Cyprus at the same rate and price that we export to Turkey.


Because of the free trade agreement between European countries, Lebanon is unable to compete equally with European countries at exporting avocados, yet we are able to compete with Egypt, which offers a lower price. To solve this, we can try and export at a lower price than Egypt.

GME Meme Stock and What It Represents

GME Meme Stock and What It Represents

GameStop was heading towards bankruptcy, with hedge funds taking short positions in companies like GameStop, in which they borrow shares of the stock at a certain price under the expectation that its market value will be worth less when it’s time to actually pay for those borrowed shares. In other words, they are betting on the stock price dropping, however something unexpected happened, the Gamestop stocks surged being driven by retail investors — individuals who buy and sell stocks for their own gains, as opposed to professional investors working on Wall Street — on the subreddit r/WallStreetBets (WSB), a community 2.9 million-strong decided to buy up as much shares of stocks as a joke. That ended up reviving GameStop, incurring massive losses on the hedge funds, and shaking the stock market. This short squeeze – as it’s referred to – is not uncommon but it doesn’t tend to play out in this public or dramatic a manner leading this case to be the talk of every news outlet at the time.

This case perfectly encapsulated the volatility and unpredictability of the stock market, as well as how it can be influenced heavily by the everyday person. Such cases also emerged with Eli Lilly and their Twitter fiasco more recently.

As such we recommend the deployment of a brand followup division for social media from companies, as well as more rigorous bylaws implemented within social media platforms in order to control, contain, and possibly prevent such situations.

Omar El Khatib
Omar Zbibo
Abdallah Moucarri
Karim El Hajj
Bassel Abou Zahr

Re-balancing the scales in the Pharma Sector

Re-balancing the scales in the Pharma Sector

“I had to work twelve-hour shifts, for seven days weekly in order to keep up with my son’s medication prices, which keep increasing every week. Only to later find out that, when I had the money, I could not find the drug. ” This was the story of Wafic, one more individual affected by the drug shortage and inflation. In this case, Wafic was looking for a drug to treat his schizophrenic son; however, he was unsuccessful, and similar cases to Wafic’s occur daily. Wafic and the many others who are affected by these circumstances are the inspiration to improve the pharmaceutical sector in Lebanon.

The team had the opportunity to discuss, although briefly, the current situation regarding the pharmaceutical sector in Lebanon with Mr. Karim Jbara, who is the head of medical imports in the country. During the sit-down, it was emphasized that Lebanon’s medical drug shortage issue stems from the currently unreliable subsidy system which is permeated with inefficiencies and compromises in the wrong instances. Hence, the team brainstormed on how to tackle issue by issue and proposed to implement a reform in the subsidy system, to target instead of medical drugs, the patients themselves. This ensures funding is reaching the right people, at the proper time, and improving the country’s overall access to medical drugs.

The shortage of drugs is a symptom caused by the current, unreliable, and inefficient subsidy system in effect until today. How so? At first, the decrease in funding, from $85 to 25 Million dollars dedicated to the import of medical drugs exacerbated the already-fragile system. Moreover, the dedication of 77% of the current budget to oncology drugs leaves little to subsidize other ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, psychiatric disorders, and other chronic diseases. What is the issue with prioritizing oncology drugs? Well, even though cancer is life-threatening and very much deserving of attention, it does not justify the neglect of chronic diseases. The reason is, chronic diseases might not seem fatal at first, but over the long run, without one’s due diligence, they develop into risky scenarios. For example, schizophrenic patients are likelier to become aggressive, and diabetics patients risk losing their vision or limbs. Hence, this allocation cannot be built as such, and there must be a better way to reach these people effectively, without compromising oncology spending. Lastly, the fact that biosimilar drugs at the same dosage, are subsidized at different price points and from different countries shows a lack of commitment to partition resources appropriately. It is not unheard of to renegotiate with partner countries during times of crisis, and at this point, the populace needs fewer brand options but richer diversity in treatment options.

The inefficiencies mentioned above are legitimate concerns, yet the aspect creating shortages is the unreliability of funding. Meaning that subsidies are not granted every month. Hence, pharmacies sell drugs in LBP, and at the limit stipulated by the Ministry of Health and must replenish periodically. However, there is no incentive to replace this medication in case it’s not subsidized, as it would be imported at its original price in dollars. This a loss for the pharmacies as even if allowed to be sold in dollars, prices are out of reach for locals. Even worse, Black-Market dealers exploit this shortage to profit over a greater margin, than that stipulated by the MOH.

After the team resumed the meeting with Mr. Jbara and brainstormed about the issue, it came to our attention that most of these inefficiencies and their consequences can be addressed by shifting focus to subsidizing patients instead of drugs. What justifies this idea is that funding on its own is not enough. For example, the USA is the greatest spender in healthcare but not necessarily the country with the best health indicators (e.g., life expectancy). Hence, the team proposed an app and database linking the patient, the MOH, and an international institution willing to grant funds aimed to subsidize people. Accordingly, importers and pharmacies will have a stable market to import to and sell. The government won’t need to stipulate prices monthly, and the populace, at any socioeconomic level, will be able to find and afford the medications desired.


Team members:

Lara Ezzedine 

Tarek Riman 

Yasmine Darwich 

Joe Sayegh 

Marwan Beik 

Marita Matta 

Mohammad Abdulrahman 


Future4Kids: Restoring A lost Childhood

Future4Kids: Restoring A lost Childhood

Team: Ibrahim Al Jaifi, Zahraa Jassar, Rami Haidar, Ali Hachem, Rim Zeaiter, Fatima Ayoub

“ We don’t go to school; we work in the daytime to support our families and spend the rest of our day playing in the streets.”

Said Omar and Yazan, two inspiring kids in Burj Al Barajneh, a refugee camp in the suburbs of Beirut. Under 10 years old, both already carrying the responsibility of working to provide for their families instead of being enrolled in education.

According to ILO, it is estimated that 160 million children are involved in child labor, 79 million of which are in Hazardous Work that is likely to harm children’s health, safety or morals. All these children, including young Omar and Yazan, are at an age when they are supposed to be provided for, educated and protected. Having to spend most of their time working in jobs that are unsafe and exhausting, their chances of leading healthy and thriving lives diminish with each dollar they earn.

Child Labor in Lebanon

The emergence of the Lebanese economic crisis in 2019 brought with it an increase in percentage of families with children engaged in child labor from 29% to 38% between 2019 and 2021 according to IRC.

GDP, as an indicator of the economic performance of a country, noticed a 65% decrease from $52B to $18B during the period of 2019 to 2021. With this drastic drop in GDP, the unemployment rate rose from 11% to 15% while the CPI more than doubled, leaving thousands of families under the poverty line with no sources of income.

With these dramatic and sudden changes in the economic situation, 3 out of 5 children in Lebanon dropped-out of school and most of the rest switched to public education. Education has become less of a priority for both the government and families.

From a social perspective, 44% of parents who have taken part in a study by the World Vision Organization believed that involving their children in paid labor enhances their life skills and assures a source of income for their households. Meanwhile, the responsible government agencies have no clear and applicable laws in place to prohibit children’s exploitation or ensure they are enrolled in education.


Child labor has destructive impacts on the health of the child, exposing millions of children to physical, mental and emotional abuse. As a result, their mental and intellectual development face significant disruptions. Considering the increasing crime rates in the country and the exposure of children to illegal work activities, the forecasted 30% increase in crime rate in 2025 would involve criminal acts by juveniles.

Proposed Solution

Mr. Aws Al Kadasi, senior research analyst at Merci Corps, commented on the topic during an interview for this project:

According to the UNICEF, one in 5 children in the least developed countries are engaged in child labor. A problem that was aggravated by COVID-19 and global economic decline that it takes a walk in Beirut to believe these numbers. Children require different systems of protection that starts with parents and extends to every office, business, institution, organization and agency, local and international, governmental or otherwise. Everyone, who is not a child, is responsible

Both 8 and 16 Sustainable Development Goals highlights the need for international efforts to tackle the issue of child labor:

Target 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms.

Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.

Inspired by these goals as well as social responsibility towards the community, our project team designed an initiative to capitalize on the work of international aid organizations and local organizations and projects working to fight child labor and illiteracy.

F4K APP (Click to view)

Future4Kids (F4K) initiative aims to establish a cooperative relationship between NGOs that provides cash assistance to families and campaigns against child labor. F4K initiative will work on partnering with cash aid organizations and NGOs working in child education. Receiving cash assistance would be conditionally linked to the enrollment of beneficiaries’ children in education with families being required to show evidence of child enrollment in education periodically.

The initiative platform will allow these two parties to join efforts to encourage families to enroll their children in education. F4K platform will also allow for receiving public donations for child education campaigns carried out by our partners.