BEIRUT, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank on Friday approved 300 million U.S. dollars in additional financing to the Emergency Crisis and COVID-19 Response Social Safety Net Project (ESSN) in Lebanon.
A statement released by the World Bank noted that "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 statement noted that the ESSN project was initially approved in January 2021 to help address the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic at a sum of 246 million dollars and benefitted from a first additional financing of 4 million dollars in May 2022.
"The financing will facilitate the integration of existing Social Safety Net (SSN) programs into a unified SSN program in line with the government's vision articulated in the National Social Protection Strategy," said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Middle East Country Director.
According to the statement, 160,000 households will receive cash transfers from the ESSN project and its additional financing for 24 months, including the current ESSN beneficiary households and new families meeting poverty and vulnerability criteria.
Households will receive a monthly 25 dollars flat amount and 20 dollars per household member with a maximum amount of 145 dollars monthly per household.
The project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Central Management Unit at the Presidency Council of Ministers, which contracted the World Food Program to conduct eligibility verification visits and payments of cash transfers. ■