Last week, Lebanon’s only wheat silo was destroyed by the Beirut Port explosion. This serious development inspired fear that Lebanon might soon suffer a shortage of bread.
This concern was nonetheless dismissed recently by caretaker Economy Minister Raoul Nehme, who affirmed that there is “no reserve crunch” and “no bread crisis” in Lebanon.
Nehme’s assurances did not stop the Iraqi Cabinet from approving a decision to supply its neighbor with an aid shipment containing wheat and other essential commodities.
On Friday, the government agreed to send over 13,000 tons of wheat, in addition to medical equipment, drugs, and fuel.
Haidar Majid, the spokesperson of the General Secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, said that the Council stipulated that the Ministry of Oil would “bear the costs of sending 100 tanks of gas oil, equivalent to 3,600 cubic meters of this substance.”
The Iraqi Cabinet “authorized the Ministry of Trade to send 13,300 tons of wheat in aid to the fraternal Lebanese people…” Majid added.
Additionally, the Arab state will send “… medicines and health supplies from the Iraqi Ministry of Health to provide medical support as a result of the disaster of the Beirut Port explosion, amounting to 20 tons.”
For reference, according to the estimates recently revealed by the Lebanese caretaker Economy Minister, Lebanon consumes around 35,000 tons of wheat every month.
It’s worth mentioning that on August 5th, a day after the explosion, Iraq sent urgent medical supplies to support the relief efforts in Beirut.
In a phone call, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi told his now-resigned Lebanese counterpart, Hassan Diab, that Iraq “will not falter in standing with Lebanon in his ordeal,” assuring that the Iraqi people share the Lebanese their affliction.