Lebanon Agrees to Pay World Bank Loan to the Poor in Dollars

Lebanon’s government agreed yesterday to pay tens of thousands of poor families cash assistance in U.S. dollars from a World Bank loan as the country’s economic crisis deepens, the Associated Press reported. The decision comes as Lebanon is expected to end subsidies for fuel by the end of next month, a move that is expected to lead to sharp increases in prices of almost all products. Lebanon’s parliament approved in March a $246 million loan from the World Bank that would provide assistance for more than 160,000 families. But the move was delayed over the government’s insistence on paying it in Lebanese pounds. Saroj Kumar Jha, the World Bank regional director, tweeted Monday that he received a letter from caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni confirming the beneficiaries will be paid in U.S. dollars. Read more.