Amin Salam, Economy Minister of Lebanon, announced Wednesday that by the end of the week, Beirut expects to receive a shipment of 49 000 tons of wheat to ease the grain deficit the country has been suffering for months.
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Lebanese lawmakers had voted last May to request a 150 million dollars World Bank loan for paying wheat imports. According to the statements made by the Economy Minister in April, should a fraction of this loan be used for buying wheat would stabilize bread prices for at least six months.
Since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukrainian territory, wheat supply to Lebanon has been affected gradually. Minister Salam said that the wheat reserves had reached a meager amount, which is considered would only last for a month and a half.
"Forty-nine thousand tons of wheat will enter the country at the end of this week, and we should not see queues after that," said the Minister. In March, Mohammad Seifeddine, Lebanese Economic and Social Council General Director, highlighted that 65 percent of the country's wheat is imported from Russia and Ukraine.
Regarding that matter, he said that to accomplish the demands of the Lebanese, the country's administration must work on finding supply alternatives in correspondence with the availability of the necessary amount of funds for the procurement.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, warned last month of the unprecedented hunger crisis hitting the international community, with 276 million facing food insecurity. "There can be no effective solution to the global food crisis without reintegrating Ukraine’s food production, as well as the food and fertilizer produced by Russia, into world markets — despite the war," said Guterres.