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Beirut explosion: World Food Programme to send wheat flour to Lebanon

The Beirut blast destroyed the country's only grain silo. [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 August, 2020

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The United Nations food-assistance branch will aid Beirut with 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour after the country's only only grain silo was destroyed in the explosion.
The United Nations' World Food Programme will be sending 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Beirut to stabilise Lebanon's wheat supply, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The explosion at Beirut's port last week – which claimed the lives of at least 160 people and injured around 6,000 others – additionally destroyed the country's only grain silo.

The blasts destroyed an estimated 120,000 metric tonnes of food stocks, including wheat, soy and other staples, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

With nearly 85 percent of all cereals previously stored at the Beirut port, the OCHA estimates that the grain supply incountry will only suffice for 4-6 weeks.

In a video, OCHA said the WFP will be distributing food parcels to families affected by the blast.

The NGO will also provide three months of wheat reserves to Lebanon.

Before the Beirut explosion destroyed nearly half of the capital, Lebanon was already struggling with its worst economic crisis in decades, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, Lebanon's now-resigned Prime Minister Hassan Diab has warned that the country is at risk of a "major food crisis", urging the US and EU to do more to avert starvation in the region.

Read also: Lebanon's PM Diab announces resignation of government

David Beasley, who heads the UN food agency said on Monday that he's "very, very concerned" Lebanon could potentially run out of bread in less than three weeks because the majority of grain comes through Beirut's devastated port.

According to Lebanese outlet The Daily Star, Beasley said he believes an area of the port can be made operational this month.


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