BEIRUT — The US Embassy in Beirut and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced Friday that they will begin distributing $55.5 million in temporary financial support to more than 70,000 Lebanese troops, with "eligible" servicemen to receive $100 per month for a period of six months.
"This program will help alleviate some of the economic hardship faced by LAF personnel, who are exerting tremendous efforts to serve their country, ultimately contributing to the overall security and stability of the entire region," the US embassy said in a statement.
Under the US-funded program, the UNDP is working with a national financial services provider to disburse these funds to eligible military personnel. The press release does give further details on the provider.
"This issuance of cash disbursements is a concrete demonstration of the United States’ ongoing commitment to bolster a key institution that transcends sectarian boundaries and remains critical to Lebanon’s continued security and stability," the embassy said.
A similar $16.5 million program for members of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) had begun disbursing aid to ISF personnel last April.
Law enforcement agencies have been hit hard by Lebanon's economic crisis since 2019. The average monthly salary of a Lebanese soldier is now around $50, compared to $800 before the crisis, while the current salary of an officer hovers around $100.
Other financial aid, as well as helicopters and food rations, have flown in from other foreign sources in recent years to cope with the crisis. Qatar also distributes financial aid to the military, amounting to $100 per month per soldier.