A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released Tuesday said the World Food Program would be sending 50,000 tons of wheat flour to Beirut to stabilize Lebanon’s wheat supply.
A Reuters report Friday revealed Lebanon’s government held no strategic stockpile of grain before last week’s blast at the port and all privately held stocks at the country’s only grain silo were destroyed in the explosion.
The flour will be sent “to stabilize the national supply and ensure there is no food shortage in the country,” the report said.
Current flour reserves in Lebanon were estimated to cover market needs for six weeks.
“An initial shipment of 17,500 tons is due to arrive in Beirut within the coming 10 days to supply bakeries for one month,” the report said.
The head of the UN food agency said Monday he’s “very, very concerned” Lebanon could run out of bread in about 2 ½ weeks because 85% of the country’s grain comes through Beirut’s devastated port – but he believes an area of the port can be made operational this month.
David Beasley, who is in Beirut assessing damage and recovery prospects, told a virtual UN briefing on the humanitarian situation following last week’s explosion in the Lebanese capital that “at the devastated site, we found a footprint that we can operate on a temporary basis.”