Lebanon has started to receive the first shipment of 33,000 ton of wheat financed by the World Bank through a $150 million loan.
The shipment, being unloaded at the Beirut port, is sufficient for about one month-worth of Arabic bread consumption in the country, the World Bank said in a statement on Saturday.
Additional shipments of varying sizes would come over the following months to maintain access to affordable bread throughout the lifespan of the World Bank loan, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Lebanon Wheat Supply Emergency Project, approved by the country’s parliament in July 2022, aimed to ensure wheat supply in the country despite disruptions in the global commodity market. The loan would remain active until May 31, shows World Bank’s website.
“Any disruption of the wheat value chain will primarily impact poor and vulnerable host communities and refugees,” World Bank Mashreq Country Director Jean-Christophe Carret was quoted by the statement as saying.
Lebanese caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam said the loan will provide great relief by stabilising wheat supply and bread prices in Lebanon during the country’s most challenging times.
Lebanon imports nearly 80 per cent of the wheat it consumes, a vast majority of which used to come from now war-plagued Ukraine and Russia, the statement noted.