December 22, 2020
Aleb Lebanon, a new program to facilitate worldwide donations to families in need in Lebanon
Aleb Lebanon is a pilot program incubated by LebNet and launched in partnership with Al Majmoua to support the Lebanese population living below the poverty line through sustained remittances on a family-to-family basis.
Aleb, which launched on December 22,2020, works by connecting donors worldwide to needy families in Lebanon and facilitating the transfer of their donations in USD bills for immediate cash disbursement. It does so by partnering with Lebanon-based NGOs such as Al Majmoua to source and vet needy families and on-board them on the service. Most of the families featured in this pilot are well known to Al Majmoua, having been recipients of microcredit loans before their situation deteriorated dramatically over the last year.
Each donor will be able to read about and select the family they want to support on Aleb’s website before making a recurring monthly donation of $200 US Dollars plus $30 fees for a period of six months. Payments will be made in USD using a credit card via PayPal and collected at LebNet’s US bank account to guarantee delivery, then wired to Al Majmoua before being disbursed by OMT/Western Union in USD bills to the intended families. You can find more details on this page.
“This is an extremely important initiative for us”, said Sarjoun Skaff, cofounder of Aleb. “As expatriates, we feel powerless watching from afar as Lebanon’s economy collapses dramatically with no obvious way to help. That’s why we wanted to build a vehicle for our diaspora to actively and meaningfully support the homeland. Cash assistance is a very effective form of support, and complements existing in-kind programs, so we are excited to make it available to the world.”
The monthly $200 donation is estimated as the minimal amount to help needy families secure food, clothing, and medication.
On top of Lebanon’s currency crisis, the economic situation has drastically deteriorated, causing widespread poverty and high unemployment rate. More than half of Lebanon’s population is now living below the poverty line, inflation reached 120% in August 2020 and food insecurity is looming. The situation is unlikely to improve in the next few years.
Many expatriates are looking for ways to help, and supporting a family for a sustained period of time is a powerful way to assist them in landing on their feet. The goal of this program is to help these families survive and support them while transitioning into self-sufficiency. This pilot will assess the needs and the success factors during the first 6-month period in order to scale the system to a large number of donors and families.
“We, at Al Majmoua, have been working for more than 20 years towards greater financial inclusion in Lebanon, by providing access to capital to the ‘unbanked’ and the most vulnerable members of society, so they can invest and sustain their small and micro businesses,” said Youssef Fawaz, Executive Director of Al Majmoua.
“Of late, we have witnessed firsthand how the combined effect of the economic crises and Covid-19 have devastated communities and left many families, who were still productive and self-sufficient a mere year ago, slide into extreme poverty and destitution.
We welcome our partnership with Aleb and join our efforts to reach out to the diaspora to help numerous families in their hour of need.”
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