Lebanese army gets $20M boost from Qatar amid tensions

Lebanon’s state agency NNA reported on Monday that the Lebanese army has received an additional $20 million from Qatar to bolster support for its troops.

The aid comes at a critical juncture as tensions escalate between the Israeli military and Hezbollah, with exchanges of fire along Lebanon’s southern border coinciding with the conflict in Gaza. While the Lebanese army is not directly involved in these hostilities, one soldier was tragically killed by Israeli shelling in December.

According to a security source cited by media, this new Qatari assistance builds upon a $60 million package announced in 2022, which was disbursed in installments to augment soldier salaries. As part of the aid distribution, each soldier is expected to receive $100 monthly.

Lebanon’s severe economic crisis, spanning five years, has severely devalued the Lebanese pound against the dollar, reducing most soldiers’ wages to less than $100 per month. This amount barely covers basic necessities, such as subscriptions to generator services to offset the frequent 22-hour power cuts.

To cope with their financial challenges, many soldiers have taken on additional jobs or resigned altogether, raising concerns about the army’s stability. Despite these hardships, the Lebanese army remains a unifying force in a country fragmented along sectarian lines, symbolizing national pride and unity.

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