The UN’s World Food Programme plans to double the number of people who receive assistance in Lebanon to 1.6 million, its executive director said on Tuesday.
David Beasley made the comments during his visit to the Lebanese capital after meeting Prime Minister Najib Mikati there, according to the Lebanese state National News Agency.
“We aspire to increase our assistance in Lebanon to reach around 1.6 million people during the upcoming few months from 800,000 that we support currently,” Mr Beasley said.
The assistance will be for the most vulnerable families and children, he said.
On Tuesday, Belgium donated €7.5 million ($8.6m) to support the food agency’s response to rising food needs in Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
Lebanon, which is going through one of the deepest economic crises on record, will receive $1.16 million “to provide food rations for more than 4,600 vulnerable Lebanese for 12 months”, the WFP statement said.
Poverty in the country is estimated to have almost doubled this March, affecting three million people compared with 1.7 million in 2020.
The WFP supports one in four people in Lebanon, including nearly half a million Lebanese and 1.2 million refugees.
Beirut has been in talks with the International Monetary fund to reach a bailout agreement.
The currency, the Lebanese pound, has lost more than 90 per cent of its value against the US dollar, leading to surging inflation, increased unemployment and poverty.