New Report Warns That The War On Ukraine Will Drive More Lebanese People Into Poverty

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

On Tuesday, Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian NGO, released a compelling report on the humanitarian impact of the Ukrainian crisis on Lebanon.

The report highlights shocking findings that Lebanon will have a future wheat shortage, higher commodity prices of fuel and food, higher inflation rates, “rising humanitarian needs in Lebanon and a precarious macro-economic situation.”

According to Mercy Corps, the impact of the crisis in Ukraine “will exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation, potentially prompting further political destabilization…and driving many more into dependence on humanitarian assistance.”

Due to the humanitarian crisis in Eastern Europe, Lebanon faces the following risks:

  • A short-term wheat shortage crisis due to Lebanon importing 81.2% of its wheat from Ukraine in 2020, according to FAO and Lebanese customs data.
  • The war will also increase commodity price increases due to higher importing costs, according to the report, wheat prices increased 30% since the conflict began.
  • A reduction in the quality of electricity, internet, and water supply.

“The impacts of this conflict are not contained within one border or one population. Nations like Lebanon, which rely on Russia and Ukraine for vital resources like food and fuel, are also under threat,” added the humanitarian NGO.

The conflict will also have a short-term impact since Lebanon is at risk of grain scarcity if “the government cannot successfully identify new suppliers”.

Per Mercy Corps, many poor families will face hunger due to the higher prices and the possibility of hoarding.

In addition, queues in front of the gas station will increase, and the price of fuel will likely increase more in the future depending on the black market supply.

The Lebanese pounds will also face further depreciation “due to nervous currency markets and major increases in import costs.”

The aftermath of the war in Ukraine will also lead to increased political instability since higher fuel and food prices could drive nationwide protests, road blockages, and even theft.

“Humanitarian actors may also be subject to increased risk of aid diversion and pressure to adjust beneficiary targeting,” added Mercy Corps.