World Bank OKs Extra $300m to Support Vulnerable Lebanese Families

World Bank OKs  Extra $300m to Support Vulnerable  Lebanese Families
World Bank OKs  Extra $300m to Support Vulnerable  Lebanese Families

The World Bank has approved a $300 million additional funding to the Emergency Crisis and COVID Response Social Safety Net Project (ESNN) that aids poor Lebanese families.

"The additional financing will expand and extend the provision of cash transfers to poor and vulnerable Lebanese households and further support the development of a unified social safety net delivery system in Lebanon to allow a better response to ongoing and future shocks," The World Bank said in a statement, Naharnet reported Friday.

This new package represents the second additional financing to a project originally approved in January 2021 to help the Lebanon address the impact of the economic crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable population.

The project already benefited from a first additional financing of USD 4 million in May 2022.

"This second additional financing will continue to help Lebanon protect its population from the impact of various crises, as well as help the country develop a targeted and digital social safety net system. Going forward, Lebanon would need to secure the fiscal space needed to finance social protection needs, including social safety nets, over the long term," the statement said.

Approved in January 2021, the ESSN project – also known as AMAN - has built the foundations of a poverty-targeted social safety net system in Lebanon through the establishment of DAEM, the first fully digitized national social registry.

The largest share of beneficiary household spending was on food followed by healthcare, the World Bank said. It added that the ESSN project and its additional financing will provide cash transfers to 160,000 households for 24 months.

Eligible households will receive monthly a $25 flat amount, in addition to $20 per household member (up to 6 members), with a maximum monthly amount of $145 per household.

The project is jointly implemented by the ministry of social affairs and the Central Management Unit at the Premiership.

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