• Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone

Blast at Lebanon Port Leaves Country with Less Than a Month’s Grain Reserves

The enormous explosion at Lebanon’s port in Beirut on August 4 destroyed the country’s main grain silo, leaving the country with grain reserves that will last for less than a month. However, Lebanon’s economy minister Raoul Mehne told Reuters there remained enough flour to avoid an outright crisis.

Still dealing with the effects of civil war three decades ago, and rampant corruption today, the economy of Lebanon was already in turmoil before the blast, leaving the country with scant currency to maintain necessary grain imports.

Nehme stated though that the silo destroyed in the blast was only holding 15,000 tons of grain at the time - only a fraction of its total capacity of 120,000 tons.

The director of Lebanon’s second largest port facility at Tripoli said that although the Tripoli port did not have grain storage, cargoes could be transported to warehouses approximately 1 mile away. Additional ports at Saida, Selaata, and Jiyeh are also equipped to handle grain imports.

Despite this, due to the state of the country, supply chain problems are extensive and UN agencies are meeting to coordinate relief efforts for Beirut.

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