The World Bank approved a $246 million loan to Lebanon to provide emergency cash assistance to nearly 800,000 Lebanese reeling under the country's compounded economic and health crises.
The World Bank said in a statement late Tuesday the loan would also support the development of a national social safety net in Lebanon, which was struggling with a financial crisis before the pandemic struck, driving nearly half the population of the small country of 6 million into poverty. Over 1 million refugees from Syria live in Lebanon.
The economic crisis has led to a projected 19.2% decline in gross domestic product, triple-digit inflation and is pushing 1.7 million people below the poverty line. Some 22% of the population is expected to fall into extreme poverty.