Lebanon has approved the Ration Card Law, which aims to support 500,000 families in Lebanon with cash transfers averaging $93USD per month.
Like many MENA nations, Lebanon subsidises essential items such as fuel and dietary staples, some of which Lebanon has moved to phase out. Subsidies can be regressive, because the greater subsidy goes to richer citizens who can afford to consume more of the subsidised goods.
This move comes during a difficult time for Lebanon, where people are struggling with the pandemic, run-away inflation, regular power outages and the lasting effects of the Beirut explosion.
Whilst moving away from subsidies and towards cash transfers is a welcome step towards a more progressive social protection in the future, the sudden removal of subsidies has caused panic buying and shortages across the country.