Lebanon has approved a cash-payment program that aims at providing a safety net for poor families amid the ongoing economic meltdown.
The Lebanese Parliament approved the project during a Wednesday session, in a time when more than 55% of the Lebanese population has fallen below the poverty line.
The approved ration card targets the poorest households in the country as the authorities begin to gradually lift the subsidy of essential commodities.
A new survey by UNESCO has found that around 30% of children in Lebanon are going to sleep on an empty stomach, shedding more light on the rapid and painful decline in living conditions in the country.
The new social support program will cost Lebanon $556 million a year and give each eligible family around $93 a month, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Lebanese government is reportedly hoping to cover $300 million of the project’s required funding via World Bank loans, the remaining amount to be covered by the Central Bank of Lebanon.
People who receive support under other social programs will be excluded from this one.
This plan comes as Lebanon enters a new stage in its crippling crisis, namely the beginning of the end of state subsidies.
The central bank had recently lifted the subsidy of sugar, causing bread prices to rise, and lowered the value of its fuel subsidy, which naturally led to an increase in fuel prices.
*Photo used for illustrative purposes only.