As part of the recently announced $2.76 billion in U.S. government funding to help address the global food security crisis, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide $29.5 million, consisting of $15 million in humanitarian assistance and $14.5 million in economic support funding, to help protect vulnerable populations from rising food insecurity in Lebanon, the U.S. embassy said.
"As the economic crisis in Lebanon persists, vulnerable populations’ purchasing power continues to decline while staple food and fuel prices continue to rise. This has been exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, which has directly affected Lebanon’s wheat imports as well as global food markets," the embassy said in a statement.
It said USAID’s $15 million in humanitarian assistance will be delivered via the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), benefiting some 300,000 vulnerable Lebanese with monthly household parcels in the coming months.
"To date, in Fiscal Year 2022 alone, USAID has provided nearly $125 million in humanitarian funding to WFP and non-governmental organizations in Lebanon, including nearly $119 million for food security," the statement said.
USAID’s contribution also includes $14.5 million in economic support funding that will support vegetable and grain farmers with supplies such as seeds and seedlings to maintain local food production.
USAID will also support small dairy farmers with fodder, veterinary services, and tools to ensure quality milk production, as "dairy is a significant nutritional source in Lebanon," the statement said.
Technical assistance, training, and matching grants to agro-processors to improve productivity and reduce reliance on imports will also be provided, thereby promoting growth in the processed food sector and increasing the availability of affordable local food products.