I’m very pleased to be here today together with His Excellency Rachid Derbas, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Islamic Development Bank President Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Madani to inaugurate the Social Development Center of Al Qobbeh.
The World Bank Group has been a long-standing partner of the Ministry of Social Affairs and its focus on poor and vulnerable families. We are proud to have been supporting the National Poverty Targeting Program, which has been operating since 2009. The National Poverty Targeting Program is Lebanon’s first program that provides assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable Lebanese households based on transparent and scientific targeting methods.
Most recently, we have helped scale up the program to help lessen the impact of the Syrian refugees on Lebanese families, and to help reduce tensions between the refugees and host communities. The scale up includes the e-card food voucher, which is a partnership that includes the World Bank, the UN World Food Program, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, a private commercial bank, NGOs and the Government of Lebanon. Going forward, we will help the government introduce livelihoods programs for the beneficiaries to help them exit poverty.
The World Bank Group is committed to supporting Lebanon’s social and human development programs.
Thank you very much.