The central bank will reportedly approve of a package in which Lebanese banks will offer loans with 0 percent interest to anyone who had their businesses or properties destroyed in the blast, according to CNBC News Anchor Hadley Gamble on Twitter.
The loans will reportedly be available for five years. The central bank will lend the banks the same amount as they loan with the same 0 percent interest rate, added Gamble, citing CNBC.
Dollars for aluminum, wood, glass imports
The recovery package will also include the central bank selling dollars to any importers of aluminum, wood, or glass – vital for rebuilding the shattered city – at a rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds per US dollar.
This rate is below the current black market rates of exchange, but higher than the long-standing official rate, which pegged the Lebanese pound to the dollar at 1,507:1. The peg has been unofficially slipping over the last year, hitting Lebanese residents’ spending power and providing one of the causes for the anti-government protests that broke out in October, 2019.
According to Beirut’s governor, the blast has also caused between $3-5 billion worth of damage to the city, which was already suffering from a deteriorating economy.
“I think there are between 250,000 and 300,000 people who are now without homes,” said Governor Marwan Abboud on Wednesday.