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Lebanon has just launched a relief program that will ensure the distribution of funds to the neediest Lebanese families.
On Friday, Lebanon signed an agreement with the World Bank for a $246 million loan as part of the Emergency Crisis and COVID-19 Response Social Safety Net Project (ESSN).
According to a press release by the World Bank, around 147,000 extremely poor Lebanese families (approx. 786,000 citizens) will get cash assistance for one year through the ESSN project.
“Eligible households will receive a monthly transfer of LBP 100,000 per household member, in addition to a flat amount of LBP 200,000 per household,” said the statement.
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Beneficiaries will be able to access their funds via ATMs using pre-paid cards that get recharged every month. They can also make electronic payments.
The ESSN funds will also cover school expenses for up to 87,000 children between 13-18 years. Tuition fees will be paid directly to the students’ schools.
“I will ensure that the funds allocated are distributed transparently and fairly to the most vulnerable families,” stated President Michel Aoun.
It’s worth noting that the World Bank was initially planning to provide funds to beneficiaries in USD, but the Lebanese government decided that the beneficiaries receive the cash transfer in LBP.
The conversion rate adopted will be 1.6 times the rate set by the BDL ‘Sayrafa’ app, currently of 3,900 LBP/USD.