Lebanese government pledges $20,000 to families of victims of border clashes

Talks are also taking place to secure compensation for tobacco farmers affected by violence between Israel and Hezbollah

A building reduced to rubble by an Israeli strike on the Lebanese border village of Odaisseh. AFP
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Lebanon’s caretaker government plans to compensate those affected by Israeli attacks on the south of the country, although it was not clear how the state – which has been bankrupt since 2019 – will foot the bill.

The plan would provide $20,000 to the families of each person killed in southern Lebanon and $40,000 for each destroyed home, Lebanese daily newspaper Al Akhbar reported, citing a pledge by the country's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati.

It said the government was in the process of securing funds and determining how to distribute the funds. The proposal is to come into effect after the cross-border conflict between Israel and Hezbollah ends.

The total funds necessary for the initiative will be determined through a survey by the Council for South Lebanon. It would then refer the findings to the High Relief Commission, a government body that oversees humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people.

Representatives from the High Relief Commission and Mr Mikati's office did not respond to The National's request for comment.

The report also said discussions were taking place to secure financial compensation for tobacco framers in border towns affected by the fighting, "especially in the towns of Rmeish, Aitaroun, Houla and Mays Al Jabal".

Since 2019, Lebanon has faced one of the worst financial crises in the modern world, with the state unable to support basic public services including electricity supplies. The savings of depositors remain trapped in the country's commercial banks due to capital controls imposed five years ago.

Cross-border violence between Israel and Hezbollah erupted on October 8, when the Iran-backed group declared support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip. AFP reported that at least 322 people have been killed in Lebanon. The vast majority were Hezbollah fighters, but 56 civilians have also been killed.

Updated: March 21, 2024, 3:20 PM