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WHEAT IMPORTS

Salam signs final report of negotiations with the World Bank for emergency loan to secure wheat

Salam signs final report of negotiations with the World Bank for emergency loan to secure wheat

A worker holding wheat grains in a flour mill in Beirut, March 1, 2022. (Credit: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters)

BEIRUT — After finalizing a round of negotiations with the World Bank, Economy Minister Amin Salam signed a final report required to draft a law accepting an emergency loan of $150 million meant for the purchase of wheat, Salam announced Friday.

Here’s what we know:

    • The potential emergency loan comes in light of consecutive crises that have negatively impacted the availability and price of this crucial commodity, predominantly the Russian-Ukrainian war and the crumbling local currency. According to a report by the Central Bureau of Statistics, international wheat prices climbed 9 percent over the month of March.

    • Agriculture Minister Abbas Hajj Hassan recently said that Banque du Liban should “open the necessary credits for wheat imports,” as bread shortages are imminent.

    • The cabinet earlier this month approved the use of $15 million from Lebanon's Special Drawing Rights allocation from the International Monetary Fund for wheat imports, an amount that will only cover Lebanon’s needs for about a month.

    • The World Bank program aims to secure stable quantities required for national consumption while maintaining their current price, according to the NNA.

    • After obtaining the approval of the World Bank Board of Directors, the legal process of this dossier will be finalized by the cabinet and the concerned authorities, in preparation for referral to the Parliament.

    • "We appreciate the World Bank for its quick response to support Lebanon in this difficult stage it is going through, particularly over the issue of food security," Salam said in his statement, adding, “We will do everything necessary to protect and secure bread as a strategic commodity, and we are also working on several programs with other international parties that we will announce successively.”   


BEIRUT — After finalizing a round of negotiations with the World Bank, Economy Minister Amin Salam signed a final report required to draft a law accepting an emergency loan of $150 million meant for the purchase of wheat, Salam announced Friday.Here’s what we know:    • The potential emergency loan comes in light of consecutive crises that have negatively impacted the...