In light of the rough financial and economic conditions that the Lebanese have been forced to live under since the past few months, and the observation that these conditions are only worsening, the Municipal Council of Beirut approved “providing urgent social assistance to the needy people of Beirut.”
According to Al-Akhbar, the council held an exceptional meeting on Monday, December 30th, to take action regarding the difficult situation in the country.
The meeting gave birth to a committee constituted of 6 members of the municipality, charged with “conducting a price survey or soliciting offers to provide in-kind assistance and foodstuffs.”
The operation is expected to cost around half a million dollars, and to provide food to approximately 20 thousand families in Beirut, with an average of 5 individuals per family.
Karantina, Verdun, Beirut Municipal Stadium, Al-Luja, and Karm El Zeitoun were the 5 specified distribution sites to be adopted for the project.
As reported by Al-Akhbar, the new committee will be responsible for creating a procedure that specifies the conditions under which beneficiaries will be selected, and the method of submitting applications and providing aid.
To keep the humanitarian campaign away from “political investments,” the municipality stipulated that the procedures of the aid campaign will not be carried out by any private organizations.
Moreover, the municipality specified conditions that must be met by companies and institutions that wish to participate in the campaign “in order to prevent any deals under the table.”
This was the result of some boycotting members raising suspicions about “prior agreements with certain companies to provide the municipality with the foodstuffs it intends to distribute,” sources told the newspaper.
For context, the Monday meeting to approve the decision was boycotted by 11 members of the council. Their absence from the meeting raised the question of whether or not the decision was unanimously approved by the Municipal Council of Beirut.
The same sources said that this project is the first stage of the municipality’s aid plan, and will be followed by an effort to cover medicinal needs for the needy people of Beirut.
Since the failing economy began taking a toll on the already-struggling people in Lebanon, many local voluntary aid campaigns began emerging across the country.
Lebanese people in various areas have taken it upon themselves to lift their distressed fellow citizens back up on their feet by launching city-scale fundraisers and distributing food, medicine, clothing, and other basic needs to the affected families and individuals most harmed by the crisis.
In addition to the declining economy, the surging prices, the wave of unemployment caused by the bankruptcy of businesses and companies, and the vacancy of a government to take action in response to the dire circumstances have all reflected negatively on the living conditions of the Lebanese people.