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Lebanon launches cash subsidy cards for families

September 9, 2021 at 11:30 am

A customer hands over a Lebanese pound banknote in a bakery on Hamra Street in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 [Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Lebanon’s caretaker minister of social affairs today announced the launch of cash subsidy cards for 500,000 families saying that negotiations were under way for them to be partly funded from new IMF SDR allocations and World Bank loans, Reuters reports.

The government introduced a subsidy programme last year to finance the import of basic goods such as wheat, fuel and medicine which has all but depleted foreign reserves and is now being phased out.

The cash card was designed to ensure subsidies reach those most in need and prevent waste with each family getting an average of $93 a month, Ramzi Moucharafieh said.

Lebanon is in the throes of a deep economic meltdown that is threatening its stability. The World Bank has called it one of the deepest depressions of modern history.

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