• Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:18 am

UN: Half of Lebanese population could face food shortages

  • Published at 04:20 pm August 30th, 2020
Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon
File photo: A general view shows the damage at the site of Tuesday's blast, in Beirut port area on August 5, 2020 Reuters

Lebanon was mired in an economic collapse even before the cataclysmic August 4 cataclysmic blast at Beirut's port

More than half of Lebanon's population risk facing a food crisis in the aftermath of a Beirut port blast that compounded the country's many woes, a UN agency said on Sunday.

"More than half of the country's population is at risk of failing to access their basic food needs by the year's end," the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said.

"Immediate measures should be taken to prevent a food crisis," ESCWA executive secretary Rola Dashti said. 

Lebanon's government, she said, must prioritize the rebuilding of silos at the Beirut port, the country's largest grain storage.

Lebanon was mired in an economic collapse even before the cataclysmic August 4 cataclysmic blast at Beirut's port, which killed 188 people, wounded thousands and destroyed swathes of the capital.

Lebanon defaulted on its debt, while the local currency has plummeted in value on the black market and poverty rates have soared, on top of a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

"The yearly average inflation rate is expected to be more than 50% in 2020, compared with 2.9% in 2019," ESCWA said in a statement. 

Lebanon relies on imports for 85% of its food needs and the annihilation of the silos at the Beirut port could worsen an already alarming situation, aid agencies and experts have said.

ESCWA said increased transaction costs of food imports could lead to a further rise in prices.

To prevent a crisis, authorities must set a ceiling for food prices and encourage direct sales from local producers to consumers, Dashti added

She also urged the international community to "expand food security programmes targeting refugees and host communities" to help defuse "potential social tensions."

Earlier this month, ESCWA said more than 55% of the Lebanese are "trapped in poverty and struggling for bare necessities."

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail