By KAREEM CHEHAYEB
BEIRUT (AP) — A severe economic crisis in Lebanon has sapped the savings of millions of residents. Now, thousands who left the country when its economy started to tumble in late 2019 have become a lifeline for families back home through remittances sent from abroad. Lebanon will receive roughly $6.8 billion in remittances this year up from almost $6.4 billion in 2021, according to the World Bank. Lebanon’s caretaker tourism minister said last month that the crisis-hit country is expecting some 700,000 people to come into the country during the holiday season — most of them of Lebanese descent. He estimates they will bring some $1.5 billion between December and mid-January.