Lebanese Economy Minister rules out wheat and flour crisis (+Photo)

Beirut, Sep 22 (Prensa Latina) The Minister of Economy and Commerce in the interim government of Lebanon, Amin Salam, today dismissed rumors about a wheat and flour crisis in the nation.

During a press conference, the minister denounced the political interference in the work of the security committee and reiterated the commitment to combat smuggling and theft.

The authority stressed that the implementation of a fair and transparent distribution mechanism, based on numbers and market needs, currently allows Arabic bread to be returned to bakeries and to the Lebanese citizen.

The official emphasized the objective of reforming the bakery sector and putting an end to smuggling, storage and price manipulation in the territory.

Salam assured that the ministry’s goal is to maintain stability in materials and their costs, as well as ethical work in production centers and respect for the law.

He pointed out that the implementation of the World Bank loan (next month) requires the highest standards required at the local and international levels such as transparency, anti-corruption and fair distribution, reports and financial auditing.

In May, Lebanon received a $150 million emergency loan from the World Bank to support wheat imports over a nine-month period.

The agreement with the international entity seeks to create stability by providing packages of bread at subsidized prices in order to secure the materials and guarantee their presence in the markets.

Lebanon has no immediate plans to lift subsidies on bread, especially flour used to make flat Arabic bread, one of the main staples on citizens’ tables, the minister clarified.

In the midst of its worst economic crisis, some 2.2 million people in Lebanon require urgent support to ensure access to food and other basic needs until the end of the year, an increase of 46 percent compared to 2021.

jf/yma

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