Beirut, March 14, 2022 – The Government of Lebanon announced today the initiation of payment of cash transfers to 150,000 extreme poor Lebanese households under the World Bank financed Emergency Social Safety Net Project (ESSN), also known as AMAN. The program will provide approximately 680,000 individuals with a monthly transfer of US$20 per household member (maximum 6 members per household), in addition to a flat amount of US$25 per household. It will also cover the direct costs of schooling for 87,000 children between the ages of 13-18 years to prevent school drop-out among extremely vulnerable households.
This emergency assistance will bring urgent relief to extremely poor Lebanese households who, for the past two and a half years, have been reeling under the pressure of a severe economic and financial crisis that has led to a high increase in poverty levels, alarming inflation rates and drastic cuts in residents’ purchasing power.
This announcement follows the completion the launch of the registration process for Lebanese households on the DAEM Social Safety Net platform. Managed by IMPACT under the supervision of the Central Inspection, the platform has allowed the registration and screening of household applications along the highest standards of transparency and efficiency. It has also ensured continuous and timely communication of key developments and messages to the Lebanese people.
Of the total 583,000 households who have registered on the platform, 200,000 households met the preliminary screening criteria for AMAN. Household verification visits to validate the eligibility of potential beneficiaries have started on February 17. This verification process is managed by the World Food Program (WFP) and will continue until mid-June. Verification, determination of eligibility, and payments are currently happening in parallel to ensure prompt delivery of assistance. Payments to eligible households will be executed by the WFP through local Money Transfer Operators. The full caseload of 150,000 households is expected to be covered by the end of June 2022 and payments will be made to all eligible households on a retroactive basis from January 2022 and for one year.
More importantly, the ESSN has launched the process of building the underlying systems for a robust national social safety net in Lebanon. The DAEM platform has initiated the development of an integrated National Social Registry that will enable Lebanon to address future shocks rapidly, transparently, and equitably. Such a National Social Registry will create synergies across all social protection programs and reduce duplication. It will also help standardize implementation processes, decrease the cost-of-service delivery and increase program performance.
The World Bank commits to the highest standards of transparency and anti-corruption in the implementation of the program. An independent Third-Party Monitoring Agent is being recruited to review implementation, including registration, eligibility, verification, status and amounts of cash transfers and ensure that payments reach their intended end beneficiaries. In addition, the project has a robust Grievance Redress Mechanism in place to receive queries and complaints and handle them promptly and efficiently.
The World Bank reiterates its call to Lebanese policy makers to adopt, urgently and swiftly, an economic and financial recovery plan and to enact critical and long-awaited reforms in order to avoid a complete destruction of its social and economic networks and to halt the alarming human capital loss.