| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Food security is at risk, amid total absence for any solutions

It is true that the battle between Ukraine and Russia is thousands of kilometers away from us, but its repercussions are present here in Beirut.

Thanks to our rulers and leaders and their policies, Lebanon is always ready to receive the calamities that afflict its citizens without mercy. Lebanon today, is threatened by a food security crisis that begins with the bread, and may not stop at a limit, especially that the Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh until this hour has not decided to finance wheat shipments and quickly opening credits to it, while the mills’ stock in Lebanon is not enough for more than one month.

The Central Bank is managing the flows of foreign reserves in order to pump liquidity in dollars into the market through various mechanisms such as circular 161 and circular 158, but what was not taken into account is that a Russian-Ukrainian crisis erupts and creates additional demand for dollars from merchants importing basic commodities and materials whose price began to rise in international markets.

The trading volume on Sayrafa platform, which ranged between $50 million and $60 million in the previous week preceding the outbreak of the crisis, rose to $70 million in the first days of the crisis before soaring to $93 million on March 1, and to $87 million on March 2.

It is expected that the demand will increase during the coming period, while the actual reserves of the Central Bank have become $12.2 billion without overdue bills, a very small amount compared to the rapid demand for dollars.

According to this equation, everything that is supposed to be on its way to Lebanon will be of unknown fate. Will the concerned authorities allow the food crisis to be added to the current crises?

  • Sawt Beirut International