Lebanese President Michel Suleiman Monday urged a quick solution to the country's issue of poverty and tackling unemployment by creating more jobs.
Suleiman, at a ceremony launching a national program for poorest families, said woes will be solved once Lebanon starts exploiting its offshore gas reserves and becomes an oil exporter.
The program, organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and co- funded by the Lebanese government, the Italian Foreign Ministry, the World Bank and the Canadian embassy, is designed to help nearly 74,000 families, or 300,000 to 350,000 people living under the poverty line.
Suleiman said the program enabled every Lebanese family to apply to state assistance. "Thus, it aims at providing social assistance to the underprivileged families in Lebanon, based on transparent criteria, and remains keen that this support would not become an absolute dependence and constitute an incentive to inactiveness," he added.
The Lebanese president said Lebanon's future was not bleak, adding that his country has an opportunity to solve the problem of public debt through the offshore oil and gas exploration in its territorial waters.