Written by:
Wassim Maktabi,
Sami Zoughaib,
Sami Atallah

The ills of Lebanon’s social protection system are not a result of financial or technical constraints.1 They are rather political. For decades, ruling elites have consciously eroded the social role of the state to prey on the population’s vulnerabilities as they arise. The most flagrant example is their several attempts to capture the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), a program intended to rapidly aid an increasing number of vulnerable households during the crisis. Politicians tried to change the currency of aid disbursement to Lebanese lira, which would have exposed households to inflationary shocks and deposited foreign currency at Banque du Liban (BdL). Additionally, they sought to reduce the budget allocated for oversight and constrain the capacity for a social safety net delivery system, which would have significantly undermined the efficiency of the program. Moreover, they worked to influence the design of the beneficiary identification database to hold discretion over the selection of aid beneficiaries.

To read the full article: click here

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.