Adopting “Afaal” project can save 500,000 citizens living in extreme poverty

Lebanese National Bloc Party executive committee member and former MP Robert Fadel called on the government to take a decision to adopt the "Afaal" law proposal to combat extreme poverty. He stated that such a decision would be the most important the government can make since it had come into power.

In a statement Fadel stated that the National Bloc launched the proposal one day before the revolution of October 16, 2019.  The proposed draft law is built upon the simple premise of offering cash aid to the poorest families with the condition of providing education to children and training the bread winner, conditions that can obviously not be met in the current situation. Fadel noted that the draft law proposal was launched before the financial, economic, and pandemic crises, at that time studies showed that around 300 thousand Lebanese live on below $5 per day. He asserted that this number has risen to impact over 500 thousand Lebanese today.

Fadel saw that there were no more reasons to delay adopting this draft law, and that it does not necessarily need to be approved in the House of Representatives, but can be implemented by a government decree in the cabinet as soon as possible. He named three reasons that allow for this to happen: first is that the list of the poorest families already exists at the Ministry of Social Affairs, second is the fact that the aid is in Lebanese pounds and is not affected by the scarcity of dollars, and third is that this project has limited cost, ranging between 20 and 30 million USD per month.

In conclusion of his statement, Fadel stressed that there is no reason to delay the implementation of this proposal save for the shortsightedness and selfishness of the ruling political class, who want aid to only come through its parties so that the allegiance of the people stays with them and not with the Lebanese state.

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