BEIRUT--The World Bank Group on Tuesday approved a $246-million aid package to help 786,000 vulnerable Lebanese reeling under the country’s worst economic crisis in decades and the coronavirus pandemic. Lebanon, a country of more than six million, is grappling with its worst economic downturn since the 1975-1990 war. A spiralling coronavirus outbreak has compounded the crisis, forcing businesses shut and denying daily wage earners an income in a country where more than half the population lives in poverty. The World Bank “project will provide 147,000 extreme poor Lebanese households (approximately 786,000 individuals) with cash assistance for one year,” a statement said. “Eligible households will receive a monthly transfer of 100,000 Lebanese pounds ($65) per household member, in addition to a flat amount of 200,000 Lebanese pounds per household,” it said. It will also give 87,000 children between the ages of 13-18 year a top-up cash transfer to cover the direct costs of schooling including fees, textbook and transport and school uniform expenses. “Lebanon has been facing compounded and unprecedented crises. A severe economic and financial crisis led to a projected 19.2 percent decline in GDP in 2020, triple digit inflation and a projected increase in poverty to 45 percent and in extreme poverty to 22...read more...