The food crisis across Lebanon has exacerbated in recent months following fuel shortages. The people are dealing with hunger due to daily increase in the price of foods, the last unavoidable part of everyday life.
The durable shortage of fuel across Lebanon has severely impacted multiple other critical sectors. Food groups is one of the sections the impact of the blow is felt much more than others. Lebanese people have to deal with daily price increase as a result of a food crisis.
Foods shops are one of the rare group of shops that are still fully supplied. This is because people have no other choice but to put all their income to stay away from starvation. This is not, however, a much far possibility.
“More and more people are struggling with money and asking us to let them pay later,” a shopkeeper in Beirut says. In such a condition, anger, crimes, and violence gradually become the status quo. The same shopkeeper says he tries to be patient as he understands the condition following that occurred following fuel shortages.
The food crisis in Lebanon, nevertheless, dates back to years ago. Food costs have risen by more than 600% in less than 2 years, according to the data provided by World Food Programme. The condition exacerbated Lebanon’s financial catastrophe, pushing over 70% of the people into destitution. Lebanese currency also depreciated by 90% in the same period.
The crisis in nutritional sectors, however, exacerbated in recent months following the inability of supply the fuel. Apart from the excessive expenses of the supply chain, the shortage distorted the distribution system too.
The administration was unable to manage the crisis and adopted incongruent policies leading to further exacerbation of condition. Lebanese people passed a breathtaking summer with cuts in food supply and electricity.
Food Crisis in a Vicious Cycle
In order to address chronic shortfalls, the Lebanese administration has steadily reduced energy subsidies since four months ago. In haphazard policies leading to more tension, the government raised fuel prices 4 times in less than a month. Officials have also failed to implement a cash-card program to remove subsidies.
Meanwhile, lengthy outages have become more common in Lebanon as state-supplied energy has shrunk to virtually nothing. Gasoline costs for independent power producers have risen as well, while the expensive fuel was mostly hard to find.
“Our food prices are getting more expensive because we have to pay much more for the private generator provider to account for fuel price hikes,” a local citizen told the reporters. The man refers to a vicious cycle of cost surge starting from the shortage in fuel resources. “And all our produce, in those baskets over there, have especially become more expensive because the guy who delivers it to us from the vegetable market has to pay more for gasoline.”
The cost of bread was subject to another increase a few weeks ago. It increased five other times in the same year. A part of the problem roots in the declining national currency, but the ever-rising costs of transportation has had a major role. What’s the original reason? Fuel shortage.
“Fuel and gasoline prices are still increasing, so we anticipate that food prices will go up,” World Food Programme said. WFP’s stress on imminence of further exacerbation of food crisis is an alarm to the world society.
Providing a resolution to the fuel shortage as the origin of the cycle may prove functional for managing food crisis. Iran has attempted to help by deploying tankers to Lebanon in recent months. Other nations may provide assistance by acts, rather than words.