World Bank approves $150 mln food security loan for Lebanon: Minister

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The World Bank on Monday approved a $150 million loan to help Lebanon fund wheat imports and keep bread prices stable for nine months, the country’s economy minister told Reuters.

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The program, known as the Lebanon Wheat Supply Emergency Response Project, would still need to be approved by the country’s cabinet and parliament, said Amin Salam.

A World Bank spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lebanon is heavily reliant on food imports and pays for them in dollars, which have become increasingly difficult to obtain since its economy crashed in 2019.

Since then, the Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 percent of its value while food prices have gone up more than 11-fold, according to the World Food Program.

The bread shortage has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which supplies most of Lebanon’s wheat, and by Beirut’s inability to store wheat reserves since its largest silos were destroyed in the 2020 Beirut port explosion.

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