WFP To Scale Up Food Security in Lebanon As Blast Destroys Capital’s Port
By Staff, Agencies
The World Food Program [WFP] concerned over the state of food security in Lebanon, will be allocating food parcels to affected families, which was rocked by the explosion in Beirut on August 4, which killed 157 people, a figure that is expected to rise.
At the behest of the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, WFP will be allocating 5,000 food parcels to affected families, each package is enough to feed five people for one month and includes basic food items such as rice, pasta, oil, sugar, salt and tomato paste.
About 120,000 metric tons of staple foods stored at the port— including wheat, soy and other beans have been perished and that the price of food will skyrocket, the WFP said.
According to the World Bank, even before the explosion, food security in Lebanon was a cause of serious concern, with one million people already living below the poverty line and 45 percent of the Lebanese population sliding into poverty
As per the latest WFP survey on the combined impact of Lebanon’s economic crisis and COVID-19 lockdown, food has become a major source of concern, with 50 percent of Lebanese respondents saying over the past month they felt worried they would not have enough food to eat.
Food imports, which account for up to 85 percent of the country’s food needs, saw a sharp decrease in the six months to April. As a consequence, the cost of staple foods has doubled in recent months.
Around 300,000 people feared to have lost their homes since the explosive on Tuesday, the food crisis is accompanied by a health crisis as hospitals already suffering under the weight of COVID-19 cases are forced turn people away.
WFP is also seeking to facilitate medical support where possible. On Thursday a flight to Beirut carrying 8.5 metric tons of surgical and trauma equipment donated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs — set off from the WFP-run UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy.
Meanwhile, the organization, its partners, donors and the Lebanese government are urgently seeking to protect the most vulnerable by improving and scaling up social assistance for the poorest, including through emergency safety nets.
WFP is planning emergency food assistance to support 50,000 vulnerable Lebanese families which is up to 250,000 people, affected by the economic and COVID-19 crises in collaboration with several agencies.
It is also distributing food rations to 13,000 families of children who were included in its school meals program.