Today’s vexing issue in Lebanon and around the world is food security. Locally, however, the situation changed following the destruction of the wheat-storage barns in the August 4 blast.
But the strange thing is that successive governments have ignored the warehouses in the Bekaa. Although they are well-aware of these warehouses, not a single official took a measure in this regard.
Tonight, we would like to recall this issue through Sawt Beirut International, so that the call reaches those who need it to avoid the problem of wheat scarcity.
These warehouses are larger in size than the barns of the port of Beirut and are ready to store quantities of wheat exceeding one hundred and twenty thousand tons that were stored in the barns of the port and have been in existence since 2012 when it was established by the Agricultural Scientific Research Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. They are eight and each has an area of 1250 square meters and is ten meters high.
It can now accommodate 400,000 tons of unpacked wheat or 200,000 tons of prepackaged wheat. It would have been preferable to have a stockpile of wheat in these empty and neglected warehouses, but those in charge always wait for the problem to occur before crying crocodile tears!
Let us now switch from the food crisis to the global fuel crisis.
The International Energy Agency predicts a “shock” in global oil supplies as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, while lowering its demand forecast for 2022.
According to the agency, three million barrels per day of Russian oil may be out of stock by April 2023, a figure that could rise if sanctions are tightened or public condemnation of Russia increases.
According to Sawt Beirut International sources, the Lebanese market, as well as international markets, would be affected, and they were concerned about the return of the black market and the manipulation of fuel prices if they were scarce or not available on a daily basis.
Finally, and in addition to the issue of closing all Fransabank branches after seizing its assets, lawyer Mark Habka told Sawt Beirut International that this procedure has many negative ramifications for depositors and banks dealing with Fransabank, adding that the cessation of all banking operations puts depositors in a difficult position because there are currently no salaries.