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Kuwait to rebuild Beirut grain silos destroyed in blast

Rebuilding the silos is part of Kuwait's broader assistance to Lebanon [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2020

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Originally built with Kuwaiti funds, Beirut's grain silos will be rebuilt by the donor country after the deadly port explosion.
Kuwait will rebuild Lebanon's only wheat silos that were destroyed during the August 4 port explosion, local media reported on Sunday.

"We decided that the best and most appropriate way to start with the material aid is to rebuild the silos," Kuwaiti Ambassador to Lebanon Abdel-Aal al-Qenaei was quoted as saying.

Plans for another grain silo in Lebanon's Tripoli port were shelved a few years ago after failing to secure enough funding, a UN official, port official and regional grain expert told Reuters earlier in the month.

According to the UN, 85 per cent of Lebanon's grain and wheat supply was stored at the wheat silos at Beirut port prior to being destroyed by the blast – believed to have been caused by some 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.
The explosion killed at least 180 people, injured 6,500 and displaced 300,000 people.

The United Nations' World Food Programme has announced it will 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Beirut to stabilise Lebanon's wheat supply after blasts destroyed an estimated 120,000 metric tonnes of food stocks, including wheat, soy and other staples.

According to The Daily Star, Qenaei said the silos rebuilding was part of his country's broader assistance to Lebanon in the aftermath of the explosion – including some $41 million pledged at a French-organized donor conference held online days after the blast.

"These silos were originally built in the year 1969 with a loan from the Kuwait Fund for Development, and that is why we decided to announce their rebuilding," the envoy said.

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