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DEG and Fransabank Collaboration through the “Beirut Support Fund”

Responding to the Disaster of Beirut Port Explosion on the 4th of August 2020

DEG financial commitments in emerging-markets and developing countries is to help the local private sector to become the engine for sustainable economic, social and ecological development. DEG aims to support these effects with their “Business Support Service” financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in order to promote efforts of the private sector in excess of a normal entrepreneurial commitment.

Following the devastating blast of the Port of Beirut on 4 August 2020, Fransabank concluded with DEG a “Contract of Performance” by virtue of which the said institution provided a grant to our bank, and the bank in return equally contributed with the same amount of the grant. This collective grant supported and assisted financially our employees and their family members who suffered from severe damages at their homes and premises as a consequence of the blast.

Our bank was concerned about its employees residing in the devastated areas and the impact the explosion had on their homes. It has responded to the massive explosion and destruction whereby dozens of employees were directly affected by setting a special fund “the Beirut Support Fund”. The fund’s objective was to provide non-repayable grants to the affected employees and their families to cover reconstruction and purchases of necessary inventories based on case-by-case basis. In view of that, the assessment of the damages was achieved for each concerned employee and the cost of the repairs was reimbursed. Funds were allocated based on the level of destruction and the employees’ salaries, and will be evidenced by way of independent audit report. Our bank made sure that the employees at the lower end of the pay scale benefited the most from the allocated grant.

As a result, an internal team from the bank assessed the damages to the households of 31 employees and all of them received the needed allocated funds for repairs and replacements.

From DEG perspective, Fransabank’s measure not only contributed to positive social and economic effects in Lebanon and especially Beirut. It also enabled its employees and their families to return to safe living conditions and reduce their exposure to COVID-19.

On another dimension, Fransabank’s life insurance arm, Bancassurance, was the first in the Lebanese life insurance market to fully cover all the claims resulting from the 4th August explosion to its clients.