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ECONOMIC CRISIS

The US and UN are studying plans to subsidize soldiers’ salaries, the Lebanese Army says

The US and UN are studying plans to subsidize soldiers’ salaries, the Lebanese Army says

Lebanese army soldiers stand guard during a demonstration in Beirut on June 6, 2020. (Credit: Anwar Amro/AFP)

BEIRUT — The Lebanese Army announced Friday that the United States and the United Nations are studying proposals under which interested countries could help subsidize the salaries of Lebanon’s military, which have been drastically devalued by the depreciation of the national currency amid the country’s ongoing economic collapse.

Here’s what we know:

    • In a statement, the army said that “the need to subsidize military salaries is urgent. Several countries, in coordination with the United Nations, have begun to examine legal means to do so, as their domestic laws normally prohibit such a move. The United States and the United Nations are preparing a study of all proposals in this direction, so that appropriate decisions can be made." The statement added that the project “will be officially announced” once it is finalized.

    • The army’s statement denied recent reports by some local media outlets that efforts are underway to create a fund that would provide financial assistance to the military for a defined period.

    • The economic crisis that Lebanon is currently experiencing has had a serious impact on the salaries of military personnel, who are paid in Lebanese lira. While still officially pegged to the US dollar at around LL1.500, the lira has lost more than 90 percent of its value on the parallel market and is presently trading above LL25,000 to the dollar. With the value of their earnings so diminished, some soldiers have quit the army. Meanwhile, several countries have mobilized to send regular food and medical aid for Lebanon’s troops. 

UPDATE: As of Saturday morning, the Lebanese army has taken down this statement from its official website.


BEIRUT — The Lebanese Army announced Friday that the United States and the United Nations are studying proposals under which interested countries could help subsidize the salaries of Lebanon’s military, which have been drastically devalued by the depreciation of the national currency amid the country’s ongoing economic collapse.Here’s what we know:    • In a statement, the...