Between October 17th, 2019, and May 29th, 2020, prices in Lebanon have increased by over 70%, according to a report by Lebanon’s Consumer Protection Association.
The Association recently published the results of its latest inventory, in which it deduced that, in about 7 months, the prices of food commodities in Lebanon increased by a whopping 72.9%.
The inventory not only revealed that but also a nearly 59% price increase in just a couple of months, Al-Akhbar reported.
Between March 31st and May 29th, the prices of basic food products saw a 13.66% increase. This growth includes the prices of canned food, oils, and grains (22%), dairy products (17%), and fruits (11%).
In addition, the prices of meat products grew 10% more expensive between early April and early June, and household and personal materials went up by 24% in the same period.
In total, the prices of 145 types of mostly-essential commodities increased in the past few months.
Naturally, the burning prices have been most terribly affecting the least fortunate people in Lebanon; the poor, which now make up nearly 50% of the Lebanese society.
Dr. Zouhair Berro, the president of the Consumer Protection Association, told Al-Akhbar that he thinks handing out “monthly vouchers for basic food items” would be a very effective method whereby the government can directly support the poor of Lebanon.
This strategy, he finds, not only helps the vulnerable but also “cuts off the greed that the traders will practice” and helps put an end to their monopoly over the most basic commodities.
According to Dr. Berro, this old monopoly has played a significant role in the price shifts that took place over the course of many years, way before the dollar crisis began to overtake the economy and contribute to the rise of the now-unbearable prices.
Despite the surge in prices over the past few months, the Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, Raoul Nehme, recently stated that the prices of food commodities should start decreasing very soon.
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