BEIRUT — A parallel market for Arabic bread bundles has sprung in Nabatieh amid flour shortages in bakeries, the National News Agency reported.
Here’s what we know:
• Due to flour shortages in bakeries, bread distribution has fallen under citizens’ demands — such as in the village of Kfar al-Joz which requires 5000 bundles but received only 600 — leading traders to get bread from other regions to resell at a steep markup, pricing a large bundle at LL30,000, well over the official price of LL14,000.
• “Citizens are suffering,” the President of the Federation of Bakery Syndicates in Nabatieh Hussein Mogharbel said today, adding that “each day, a new crisis emerges and bread rationing portends an emptying of stocks and a total flour shortage.” Mogharbel called on the Economy Ministry to ensure equitable flour distribution across the country.
• Responding to the crisis, the General Director of the Economy Ministry Mohamad Abou Haidar said during a call with Amal Movement deputy Nasser Jaber that he is working on finding solutions to ensure flour deliveries and the resumption of work at bakeries.
• Last week, the Bakery syndicates of Beirut and Mount Lebanon called for the removal of subsidies on “extra” and “super extra” flour and criticized the state for “not searching for alternate markets to buy wheat, while the Russian invasion of Ukraine since the end of February has severely impacted wheat imports to Lebanon. Thursday, workers from the Union of Bakeries blocked a road in Tripoli to protest flour shortages.