Lebanon economy minister says has flour to last four months

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FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Economy Minister Raoul Nehme arrives to attend the cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT – Lebanon has 32,000 tonnes of flour in addition to 110,000 tonnes that has arrived or will arrive in the coming two weeks, the economy minister said on Wednesday.

“This means we have enough for four months,” Raoul Nehme said in a tweet.

The World Food Programme is also sending 17,000 tonnes of flour as a first batch of a 50,000-tonne supply plan.

 

A U.N. report on Tuesday said Lebanon only had six week’s supply.

“We don’t have a stock crisis or a bread crisis!” Nehme tweeted.

A Reuters report on Friday found the Lebanese government, unlike many wheat import dependent nations, had not kept a strategic stockpile of wheat and all the private stocks of the grain held in the Beirut grain silo at the port were destroyed in the blast that rocked the city on Aug 4.

 

Nehme said on Friday his ministry had planned to create a government reserve of 40,000 tonnes of wheat but those plans had not materialised ahead of the blast.

The Lebanese government resigned on Monday but President Michel Aoun asked the government to stay in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

Reuters

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