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War in Ukraine leaves Lebanon hungry

As wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia dwindle, Lebanese people are in danger of going hungry.
People line up in front of a bakery to buy bread in Lebanon's southern city of Sidon on June 22, 2022.

BEIRUT — On a hot July morning, Ali Samir Nabbouh stood for more than two hours outside a bakery in Beirut’s southern suburbs, desperately waiting for a bag of bread. The shop had not yet raised its shutters, and he jostled among a restless crowd all eager to be first served. “I had to feed Fatima and Sarah, my two daughters. I couldn’t miss my turn,” he said. 

Nabbouh, a 45-year-old divorced father with a part-time job, was struggling for yet another day to bring some pita bread to the table. Not long ago, to do so was a given for all walks of life in Lebanon. But even the staples of life are out of reach for many now. Not only has the number of bread bundles decreased in weight, but their cost has also increased by 550%. Exorbitant prices are now beyond the means of many. Today, what was considered the food of the poor, accessible to all, has become a luxury good.

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