Lebanon finalizes import of 50,000 tonnes of corn from India – The New Indian Express
Express press service
NEW DELHI: Lebanon, which was heavily dependent on Ukraine for wheat imports, has struggled to source wheat since the outbreak of conflict following the Russian invasion. It is currently facing a food security crisis.
The government of Lebanon has been in contact with India and is in the process of finalizing the purchase of 50,000 tons of wheat from India, which will last them one month.
“Traditionally, wheat imports were in the hands of the private sector in Lebanon. However, the government has now decided to buy it themselves. We have shared all the relevant information they needed from our side as we are able to supply wheat (as there is stock),” India’s Ambassador to Lebanon Dr. Suhel Ajaz said. Khan, at TNIE.
Lebanon has also been reeling from an acute economic crisis since 2019, so paying for wheat is a challenge for them. Nearly 75% of the population lives below the poverty line and buying even a loaf of bread is also becoming increasingly difficult for them. The government subsidized the cost of wheat.
“The type of soft wheat we produce in India is what Lebanon needs. Once they finalize it, we will help them move it forward,” Dr Khan added.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Economy and Trade Minister Amin Salam said that while they are in the process of finalizing the import of wheat from India, they also hope to have more collaborations with India.
“India is our friend. The Indian ambassador in Beirut answered all our questions regarding wheat and we hope to strengthen our commercial ties in sectors like technology and agriculture,” Amin Salam said, while s recently addressing members of the Indian Consulate in Beirut. .
Salam went further adding that India is an ally and they would like to have economic and geopolitical ties with them. Meanwhile, due to the economic crisis, Lebanon’s wheat importers (there are 12 of them) have not placed new orders worldwide.
Years of financial mismanagement, endemic corruption and pandemic have weighed on the Lebanese economy and now the country faces food insecurity.
Nearly 75% of the population lives below the poverty line. The explosion in Beirut in August 2020 (which occurred due to a shipment of ammonium nitrate which caught fire killing 200 people), led to the destruction of wheat silos which stored 100,000 tons of cereals .
According to the World Food Program (WFP), food prices in Lebanon have increased by 1,000% in two years. This hyperinflation and food shortage has been aggravated by the fuel crisis.