Reference Date: 28-January-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Wheat output in 2013 at average level
Cereal import requirements in 2013/14 set at a high level
Estimated number of Syrian refugees in need of humanitarian assistance continues to increase
Planting of the 2014 winter cereals is almost concluded. Weather conditions in the region have been generally favourable, although some persisting dryness in parts raised concern about moisture conditions.
Average cereal crop harvested in 2013
Total cereal production in 2013 is tentatively put at about 179 000 tonnes, similar to last year.
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 2013/14
Domestic cereal production covers on average about 17 percent of consumption needs and the country depends heavily on imports. In 2013/14 marketing year (July/June), the cereal import requirement, mainly wheat for human consumption and maize for livestock and poultry, is forecast at 896 000 tonnes, the same as last year.
In December 2013, general inflation reached about 1 percent year-on-year. Food inflation in the same period reached 3 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 January 2014, over 830 000 Syrian refugees are registered in the country, with additional 190 000 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.