EconomyJul 05, 2022
Addressing Food Insecurity in Crisis-Stricken Lebanon
- Souhad Abou Zaki, Leila Dagher, Amin Salam
Almost three years into the economic crisis, Lebanon shows no sign of recovery. The sharp decline in economic activity, coupled with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation, has pushed thousands of Lebanese households into poverty and unemployment. In addition to the rising poverty, the heavily indebted country that has long been struggling with structural macroeconomic anomalies and persistent political instability is now haunted by the sinister memories of the ‘great famine.’
Concerns about food and nutrition insecurity are intensifying at both the national and sub-national levels as the main food security indicators started to follow an alarming trajectory. Thus, there is a pressing need for government to prioritize food security and take immediate actions to prevent hunger and malnutrition.
Examining the changing trends in the four main food security pillars, this brief provides several actionable policy recommendations that are urgently needed to strengthen food security in the short and medium-term, at both the national and household levels, recognizing the need for a more comprehensive food security plan that addresses food and nutrition security in its totality.Souhad Abou Zaki is an Agricultural Economist and Grants and Research Consultant at Rural Entrepreneurs.Leila Dagher is an Associate Professor of Economics at the American University of Beirut and a Senior Fellow at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies.
Amin Salam is Minister of Economy and Trade and President of the Food Security Ministerial Committee.