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The European Union and the German Embassy in Lebanon launched today an expansion of the Safety Nets Programme in collaboration with World Food Programme, in support of the National Poverty Targeting Program. The aim of NPTP is to strengthen the resilience of the most socio-economically vulnerable Lebanese population.
Prime Minister Saad al Hariri attended the event which was held in a retail store in Tariq al Jdideh where families redeemed their allocated e-card assistance. The Minister of Social Affairs Richard Kouyoumjian, the EU Ambassador to Lebanon Christina Lassen, the German Ambassador to Lebanon Dr. Georg Birgelen, and WFP Representative and Country Director Abdallah al Wardat were also present at the event.
The EU funding of EUR 24 million was granted to WFP in order to reach the neediest families in Lebanon. Germany intends to pledge new funding for WFP in Lebanon of which at least 10 million EUR will support the NPTP. The assistance is provided through e-cards allowing families to buy the fresh food that they need. The NPTP framework of food component is implemented by WFP together with the Ministry of Social Affairs. As the funds are spent in Lebanese shops, the programme is providing a significant injection of cash into the Lebanese economy.
The EU Ambassador to Lebanon Christina Lassen said: "The National Poverty Targeting Programme, built during the last decade by the Lebanese government is one of the most important tools that this country has at its disposal to combat poverty and ensure that more people can become economically active and lead a dignified life". She added "with our support, the total number of Lebanese benefiting from this particular support will grow from 58000 to 85000".
The German Ambassador also commented "Eradicating poverty is our joint goal in order to achieve the Agenda 2030. With our support to the NPTP we contribute to ending poverty and reducing inequalities. I am glad that we will now reach 27.000 more people, many of them children and youth. With our support we build a better future for them.”
Expressing appreciation to the EU and the German grant, WFP Representative and Country Director Abdallah Alwardat said "many are living on next to nothing and have limited opportunities to make a living, but we are working closely with counterparts including the government to ensure that those families are not left behind and are supported with this European Union contribution".
The EU contribution is financed by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, which currently supports more than 26 projects in Lebanon. The EU Trust Fund projects in Lebanon have a common emphasis on pursuing a longer-term resilience agenda that has a transformative effect on public service delivery systems across a range of sectors.