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Illustrative Report: The behavioral change of the youth in Lebanon towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 amidst the multiple crises Lebanon has faced since 2019

This report studies how the Lebanese crises have affected the behavior of the youth of Lebanon towards sustainability. It is a report about the youth, drafted & studied by the youth, and destined for the youth of Lebanon.

Through an SDG lens, the multifaceted and intersectional Lebanese crises have left a double-edged impact on the behaviors of the youth in Lebanon, as the financial collapse, Covid-19 pandemic, and political instability have drastically affected the youth’s lifestyles in terms of their eating habits (SDG #2), physical and mental well-being (SDG #3), educational opportunities and quality education offered to them (SDG #4), gender equality and equity (SDG #5), and their energy sustainable practices (SDG #7); leading, in turn, to nationwide youth-led initiatives to tackle these crises’ detriments. In an attempt to understand how the youth in Lebanon have been bound to adapt to the drastic changes the Lebanese community has been undergoing for the last three years, the SDG Brain Labbers enrolled in the Data Hub, along with the supervision of the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon, have developed altogether a two-edged framework roaming around the 5 SDGs selected (i.e. in representation of the situation of the Supply Chain, Human well-being, Productivity, Equality, Equity and Governance, and Basic Needs in the country) and with the use of 3 tools: Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Group Discussions.

The food penury and the increase in food item prices resulting from the Lebanese crises have caused a major negative shift in youth’s eating habits while simultaneously encouraging conscious food consumption. The Lebanese crises have both positively and negatively affected the advancement of SDG #3; food scarcity, unavailability of medicine, and other events left a negative print on the mental health of the youth, while destigmatizing mental health and increasing awareness around the importance of the topic among the youth and the general population. The increase in emigration rates and the resultant brain drain has negatively affected the education sector’s performance through the loss of skilled educators, affecting the students’ learning in the process. As for SDG #5, a rising rate in gender-based violence has negatively affected the advancement of Gender Equality in Lebanon, while increasing awareness rates around the importance of the topic among the youth and the general population. Finally, the crises also had both positive and negative impact on the advancement of SDG #7 in the country; The youth and the general population had multiple constraints regarding their ability to find and secure reliable energy sources which had positive effects on the youth’s involvement in green initiatives and the overall awareness on the importance of the topic among the youth and the general population.

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