The World Bank approved on Tuesday a $246 million loan for Lebanon to help Lebanese authorities organize a social safety net dedicated to helping poverty-stricken families.
The Emergency Crisis and COVID-19 Response Social Safety Net Project (ESSN) will help approximately 786,000 vulnerable Lebanese families struggling to keep up with Lebanon’s economic and COVID-19 crises.
Impoverished 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.
The World Bank further explained that the transfer value per household will be given on a monthly basis onto a pre-paid card issued by a financial service provider and distributed to beneficiary households, who will be able to cash out the amount or use it for online payments.
“More importantly, to ensure sustainability, the ESSN will support the development of a comprehensive social safety net delivery system that can respond to future shocks,” issued Haneen Sayed, World Bank Lead Operations Officer and Task Team Leader.
Sayed explained that this system will be based on an integrated National Social Registry to be established by the Government of Lebanon, allowing a prompt and efficient identification of households to receive social assistance based on an assessment of their needs and living conditions.
“The Board of Trustees of the World Bank gave its approval to support the majority of countries on the agreement of the Social Safety Network for Lebanon loan amounting to $246 million,” the Finance Ministry issued in a statement.
The loan comes as part of the World Bank’s effort to help the Lebanese government provide financial assistance to low-income families as authorities are inching closer to lifting the subsidies on essential products such as fuel oil and wheat.