Reference Date: 11-November-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Wheat output in 2014 put at average level
Cereal import requirements in 2014/15 set to increase
Estimated number of Syrian refugees in need of humanitarian assistance continues to increase
Planting of the 2014/15 winter season cereals, for harvest from June, is ongoing. Normally, the wheat harvest is concluded in August. while that of sorghum in October. Weather conditions in the region have so far been generally favourable.
Concerns about sustainability and efficiency of water use in agriculture are prevalent and arise regularly.
Average cereal crop harvested in 2014
Total cereal production in 2014 is tentatively put at about 177 000 tonnes, similar to last year and the five-year average.
Lebanese exporters of horticultural products, fruits in particular, are experiencing difficulties due to the continuing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic that disrupted land routes with occasional closings. An alternative marine transportation is costlier but also unsuitable for a variety of highly perishable products.
Cereal import requirement remains high in 2014/15
Domestic cereal production covers on average about 17 percent of consumption needs and the country depends heavily on imports. In the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June), the cereal import requirement, mainly wheat for human consumption and maize for livestock and poultry, is forecast at 995 000 tonnes, slightly above last year.
In September 2014, general inflation was about negative 0.2 percent month-on-month (in January 2014, the base year for CPI was changed to December 2013). Food inflation in the same period reached 0.8 percent. The Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy and Trade sets the price of local Lebanese flat bread. Other bakery products (baguettes, sandwich bread, etc) are not subsidized.
Humanitarian needs increase with the growing number of Syrian refugees
Since the beginning of the civil unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic in March 2011, the influx of refugees into Lebanon has steadily increased and, as of early November 2014, over 1.12 million Syrian refugees are registered in the country, with additional 8 000 awaiting registration.
The WFP continues providing food assistance to vulnerable Syrian populations in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. The operation in Lebanon should reach about 1.2 million beneficiaries (including Lebanese returnees) with in-kind food distributions and voucher assistance by December 2014.