Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Monday said that the World Food Program’s Executive Board has decided during its last meeting in Rome to allocate “USD 5 billion and 400 million to Lebanon over the next three years”, with a promise that “food products will be entirely purchased from Lebanon.”
Mikati’s words came in the wake of a meeting he held today with WFP Director in Lebanon, Dr. Abdullah Al-Wardat.
For his part, Al-Wardat said that he had informed Mikati about the WFP Executive Board’s approval of the WFP project in Lebanon for the years 2023-2025.
“This project will provide and will continue to provide emergency aid, as well as in-kind and cash assistance to the beneficiaries of this program,” Al-Wardat said, noting that the number of beneficiaries will increase.
“The program will continue to provide cash assistance to a number of refugees; we are talking about one million Syrian refugees and one million Lebanese who will benefit from this project,” he added.
“The program will also continue to provide assistance to school students who benefit from the school feeding program,” explained Al-Wardat, noting that the current number of students is approximately 73,000 students. “The new project aims to reach 150,000 students,” he added.
“We will continue to provide technical support to the relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Social Affairs (….). As for the farmers’ support project, we seek to enhance food security in Lebanon, which is a top priority; we’re all aware that local production is not sufficient for local needs, as Lebanon relies on importing between 80 and 90 percent of its wheat consumption. This project requires the delivery of in-kind, technical and cash assistance to a number of farmers, with special focus on cultivating wheat to increase local production,” Al-Wardat added.
Mikati separately had an audience with Housing Bank General Manager, Antoine Habib, with whom he discussed the Arab Fund loan that has been allocated to the bank.
Later during the day, Mikati welcomed the Ambassador of Armenia to Lebanon, Vahagn Atabekian, with whom he discussed bilateral relations.
Mikati also welcomed a delegation representing the Syndicate of Vegetable Traders in Tripoli.