World Food Programme to send 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Lebanon

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced that the World Food Program (WFP) would send 50,000 tons of wheat flour to Beirut to balance Lebanon’s wheat supply.

The Reuters report on Friday said Lebanon’s government-held no strategic stockpile of grain before the explosion and all privately held stocks at the country’s only grain silo were destroyed. OCHA’s report on the subject said the 50,000 tons of wheat flour would be sent “to stabilise the national supply and ensure there is no food shortage in the country.” Current flour reserves in Lebanon were estimated to cover market needs for six weeks. The report states that an initial shipment of 17,500 tonnes is due to arrive in Beirut within the coming 10 days.

Damage at the port from the blast is under assessment and most traffic is being diverted to Tripoli, which has only about a third of Beirut’s capacity. The UN report said it is expected that the port of Beirut will be unavailable for at least a month, saying that “a temporary bulk receiving facility is needed for grain imports to ensure adequate national stocks.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that he will send an additional $ 25 million in aid in addition to the previously announced $ 5 million in aid to Lebanon following the massive explosion at the Port of Beirut. “Our contributions will help support emergency medical services and provide shelter, food and other essential items for people affected by the explosion,” Trudeau said in a statement.

The French millers’ association said they were also shipping 500 tonnes of wheat flour to Lebanon as a donation from their stocks. The first consignment of 250 tonnes left the southern French port of Toulon on Sunday aboard a navy vessel, and the rest of the flour is due to be shipped from France on Tuesday, the association said in a statement. France’s wheat growers association, meanwhile, is in talks with grain companies to assemble 25,000 tonnes of wheat to send as aid to Lebanon, its president, Eric Thirouin, said.