Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanon could face food shortages in as little as a month if the Ukraine crisis continues. The country’s heavy reliance upon imports for food security leaves its population in limbo.
“[Approximately] 81-percent of the wheat that Lebanon imports comes from Ukraine [and] 15-percent from Russia,” Heart for Lebanon’s Camille Melki explains.
Without these sources, “Lebanon is left with only four-percent of [its total wheat supply] that we produce here.”
Lebanese rely on bread for a large portion of their daily caloric intake, and government subsidies keep supply costs within reach. But without any wheat, there is no bread.
“Rice would be the number one substitute for bread,” Melki says.
“But the challenge is that prices of essentials have gone up 20 to 40-percent; you have a country struggling under such an economic downfall, and we have very severe banking restrictions.”
Part of the Lord’s prayer is, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Heart for Lebanon’s food program supplies an answer to that request. “We distribute 3,600 food packages every month; we already have stocked [supplies] for the next two months,” Melki says.
Meeting a felt need like this helps believers bring people from despair to hope.
Heart for Lebanon’s focus on holistic, relational, and unconditional ministry provides essentials to families, allowing believers to reach and engage them in a relationship. Ongoing visits offer an opportunity to invest in their lives on a deeper level than just humanitarian aid.
“Pray that we can continue to share the Gospel,” Melki requests.
“From a physical, human perspective, it is bad; but from a spiritual perspective, we have an opportunity like never before to share the love of Jesus Christ.”
Pray also that Heart for Lebanon can continue getting supplies for its food ministry. “We’re already seeing that wholesalers are skyrocketing their prices and limiting the quantities we can purchase,” Melki says.
“We are concerned that the amount of food we can purchase per family will be limited coming in April and May if the crisis in Ukraine is not resolved by then.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska/Pexels.