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Food Security in Lebanon: Developments since the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

By Anna Schellenberg

In June 2023, Lebanon faced the second-highest food price inflation globally, reaching a staggering 280%. This surge was part of a broader trend, as the Food Price Index skyrocketed by 304% between May 2022 and May 2023.

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In June 2023, Lebanon faced the second-highest food price inflation globally, reaching a staggering 280%. This surge was part of a broader trend, as the Food Price Index skyrocketed by 304% between May 2022 and May 2023. The root cause of this crisis can be traced back to Russia's blockade of wheat shipments from Ukraine in July of the preceding year, a situation temporarily alleviated by the Black Sea Agreement.

This policy paper examines Lebanon's current food security status, delving into the repercussions of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The paper emphasizes the pressing need for comprehensive governmental reforms, recognizing that sustainable solutions lie in addressing deep-seated structural challenges within Lebanon's economic and political systems. 

As of May 2022, 77% of Lebanon's wheat supply relied on Ukrainian imports, a dependency that demands immediate attention. The World Bank's emergency loan of $150 million in May 2022 provided a temporary relief, but its exhaustion is imminent by April 2024, as highlighted in the latest World Food Programme report. 

This paper underscores the urgency to monitor the Black Sea conflict's progression, advocating for a proactive strategy to safeguard Lebanon from potential disruptions. In the absence of substantial reforms, the nation faces mounting challenges that requires urgent response.

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Anne-Sophie Bauer

Anne-Sophie Bauer

Research Associate

Anne.Bauer@kas.de +961 1 388 061/62

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