and high food prices are causing the Lebanon disaster
The restrictive measures taken to combat the Koved-19 pandemic, along with the current economic crisis, have affected food security in Lebanon.
On the other end of the line, Lama’s voice was filled with background noise when he tried to describe the current situation in the city of Sidon in southern Lebanon.
“The situation is terrible!” She said.
Lama is a volunteer social worker working day and night to provide food packages to households in the poorest parts of Sidon, where she says that the humanitarian crisis has worsened as measures have been taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus. ,
As of Friday, 609 confirmed cases of Covid-19 had been registered in Lebanon, including 20 deaths.
With the spread of the coronavirus, and the fact that Lebanon has been suffering from economic problems for months, Lama and her colleagues have made food safety a new priority.
“First of all, we created a team to repair homes and streets, and delivered boxes of disinfectants, detergents, and other sanitary ware to the homes of the poor,” I of the Middle East said. “But now we are dealing with the nutritional situation, and prices have increased abnormally.”
Lebanon has been in prison since 15 March due to night police hours of work and other restrictions on movement.
The country also faced a financial crisis when its local currency lost nearly 50 percent of its value, as the country was suffering from a severe shortage of US dollars.
New nightclubs and road restrictions in response to the Koved-19 eruption caused disaster for most of the country’s population. Now, without restricting income from selling housing, arbitrary commodity price inflation is another blow to the population.
The potential for a critically besieged food security crisis in Lebanon has become more evident after news emerged that the government could import about 80,000 tons of wheat for the first time since 2014.
A spokeswoman for the Bakers Union Beirut and Mount Lebanon told MEE that the situation had become unstable.
He said: “The [bakers] owners are facing the negative impact of the situation and are still able to bear the losses.” “But as long as the dollar becomes more expensive, the price of wheat will rise.”
Agricultural economist Suhad Abu Zaki said that taking care of food security in the country on the basis of these events is “very legitimate”.
“Bread and grains make up about 35 percent of our daily energy consumption … and therefore, it is necessary for food safety,” Abu Zaki told MEE.
Although Lebanon produces and exports wheat, it depends on imports from private companies, especially from Russia and Ukraine. “Most of the wheat that we consume is imported, and the government’s ability to import it is increasingly limited by reducing dollar reserves,” Abu Zaki added.
Between 2018 and 2019, Lebanon produced only 130,000 tons of wheat, and imported nearly 1.6 million tons, which is three times more than wheat imports from Ukraine this year.