Lebanon army receives additional $20 million from Qatar in support to troops

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The Lebanese army has received an additional $20 million from Qatar in support of Lebanese troops, Lebanon’s state agency NNA said on Monday.

The support comes at a crucial time, with the Israeli military and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah trading fire across Lebanon’s southern border in parallel with the Gaza war. The Lebanese army is not involved in the hostilities but one Lebanese soldier was killed by Israeli shelling in December.

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A security source told Reuters that the new Qatari aid was a continuation of an earlier $60 million package announced in 2022 that was distributed in installments to soldiers to support their salaries.

The source said $100 would be distributed to each soldier every month.

A five-year economic meltdown has slashed the value of the Lebanese pound against the dollar, driving down most soldiers’ wages to less than $100 per month.

The amount is barely enough to afford a basic subscription to a generator service that could offset the 22-hour cuts in the state electricity grid.

To supplement their low salaries, many troops have taken extra jobs and some have quit, raising concerns that the institution - one of few in Lebanon that can rally national pride and create unity across its fractured sectarian communities - could be fraying.

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