Reference Date: 07-August-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Wheat output in 2013 forecast 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
Average cereal harvest forecast in 2013
Harvesting of the 2013 winter cereals (mainly wheat) is almost concluded. Weather conditions in the region have been generally favourable, although harsh winter storms and consequent floods in January 2013 destroyed some crops and fruit trees. Total cereal production in 2013 is forecast at about 179 000 tonnes, the same as 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.
The CPI data for Lebanon were not published between January 2013 and May 2013. In June 2013, general inflation reached almost 9 percent year-on-year (compared to 2 percent in June 2012). Food inflation, in the meantime, eased from 5.7 percent in June 2012 to 3 percent in June 2013. 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 August 2013, over 560 000 Syrian refugees are registered in the country, with additional 100 000 awaiting registration. The Lebanese government estimates that around 1 million Syrians are in the country. The WFP continues providing food assistance to vulnerable Syrian populations in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. The operation in Lebanon should reach about 420 000 beneficiaries (including Lebanese returnees) with in-kind food distributions and voucher assistance by December 2013.