The United States on Wednesday announced it would provide $72 million in temporary financial support for Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces personnel.
The US which has long been the biggest donor to Lebanon’s army, would partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to facilitate the delivery of the first US aid of its kind, according to a joint statement issued by UN agency and US embassy in Beirut said in a joint statement.
The programme “will provide $72 million in temporary financial support for Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces personnel”, the statement read
UNDP will disburse it through a local service provider, it added.
“These payments will provide every soldier and police officer eligible to receive assistance under US law with $100 per month for a period of six months,” the statement said.
US ambassador Dorothy Shea said this was “the first time the United States has ever provided such financial support to security forces in Lebanon,” according to the statement.
An average monthly salary for a low-ranking Lebanese soldier is now worth roughly $50, down from about $800 before the 2019 economic crisis.
Lebanon’s local currency has lost 95 percent of its market value since 2019.
Last year, Qatar announced $60 million in aid for Lebanon’s cash-strapped armed forces. At the time, a security source told AFP the aid would cover soldiers’ wages.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.