Serious concerns for increased hunger after explosion in Lebanon

Friday, August 07, 2020
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The explosion in Lebanon destroyed much of the country’s food stocks that had been stored at the port, causing high concern for an increase in hunger. (Photo: AFP)

Thousands of people are injured, hundreds are dead and 300,000 homes have been seriously damaged after an explosion rocked Lebanon’s port city of Beirut on Tuesday, August 4.

Most of the food in Lebanon is imported due to the country’s limited production capacity. The explosion, stemming from a warehouse with ammonium nitrate, destroyed much of the country’s food stocks being stored at the port, causing high concern for an increase in hunger.“The port terminal that received the majority of the country’s grain imports was right next to the site of the explosion. The heavily damaged grain silos are estimated to have held 85% of the country’s grain stocks. This will have serious implications for food availability,” says Miriam Harder, senior program officer who manages the Foodgrains Bank’s Middle East programming.

The explosion has also added suffering to a country that was already facing the disruptions of lockdowns due to COVID-19 and great economic challenges—food prices have risen approximately 160 percent since October 2019.

“The challenges facing Lebanon right now are completely unprecedented,” says Harder. “Lebanon hosts the world’s highest per capita number of refugees and had also been experiencing an economic collapse. Then COVID-19 arrived, and now the explosion.”

“It’ll require a large-scale coordinated effort to help Lebanese and refugee families living in Lebanon recover from this,” she adds.

The Foodgrains Bank is working with our members and their partners in Lebanon to determine how to support families affected by the explosion.

We also ask for you to join us in prayer for all those affected by this horrible disaster. Find prayers and more resources here to help you and your family or church keep Lebanon in your prayers.

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