US AID offers emergency food assistance of $64 Billion for crisis-hit Lebanon

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With growing food security concerns and food shortage in Lebanon, the U.S. came onto the front stage to offer humanitarian assistance of $64 billion to feed the needy through its U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The middle-east country, Lebanon which is reeling after a prolonged civil war is now facing an acute food scarcity due to several regional and global factors. While Lebanon was trying to recover from the ongoing economic crisis, the global halt due to the long Covid19 pandemic and the August 2020 Beirut Port blast further aggravated its food insecurity. To make matters worse for it, the current war between Russia and Ukraine has impacted Lebanon’s grain stocks as it is dependent on imported wheat from Ukraine. USAID believes that the increase in grain and fuel prices will further hit Lebanon hard in its efforts to mitigate the food crisis. Understanding the graveness of the situation, the U.S. government is working diligently to provide the much sought-after assistance to the Lebanese population which is directly facing the brunt.            

Further, The United States is the biggest contributor of humanitarian assistance to Lebanon. This additional $64 billion funding through the UN World Food Program will ensure food on the plate of more than 740,000 people. This latest USAID assistance consists of lentils, chickpeas, rice, pasta and other non-perishable items along with vouchers for purchasing food staples from local markets to boost the Lebanese economy. With its timely aid, a major chunk of the Lebanese population will be saved from extreme hunger, malnutrition and food shortage. It further ensures that the Lebanese people will have access to four square meals no matter what the circumstances may be in the country.  

However, global warming, increasing volatility at the global level, and changing climate patterns have made food security a more critical challenge than before. As the world population is increasing while the land and water resources are decreasing simultaneously, it becomes the prerogative of global powers to mitigate this impending food crisis and ensure there is enough to feed everyone. No doubt, there will be floods, famines, fires, and other calamities in various parts of the world, but in a shared global economy, stronger countries need to carry and support the burden of weaker and needy countries in terms of food grains and other essential supplies. Also, it is high time for global powers like the U.S. to show statesmanship and come forward to help needy people across the world. This necessary intervention in world affairs will help in fulfilling the goals of sustainable development as envisioned in the recent UN summit. Since October 2020 when the world was still struggling with the Covid19 pandemic, The United States government has already pledged around $510 million to Lebanon through various forms of assistance. The superpower is equally concerned about the plight of the Lebanese people and the increasing humanitarian help required for the affected people. The U.S. is further urging the donor countries to increase their share and contribution to humanitarian assistance. It is time to join our hands together and fight the imminent food crisis in Lebanon without any delay.