NewsLebanon families spend '5 times minimum wage' on food:...

Lebanon families spend ‘5 times minimum wage’ on food: study


Beirut, Lebanon: Families in Lebanon are now spending five times the minimum wage on food alone, a report found Wednesday, as inflation caused by the country’s worst-ever economic crisis continues to soar.

The Mediterranean country is battling what the World Bank has described as one of the planet’s worst financial crises since the 1850s, which has left more than half the population living below the poverty line.

The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 percent of its value to the dollar on the black market since 2019, and Lebanese with deeply devalued salaries in the local currency have seen their purchasing power plummet.

According to the latest prices in July, “a family’s budget just for food is around five times the minimum wage,” the Crisis Observatory at the American University of Beirut said.

Without taking into account the additional cost of water, electricity, or cooking gas, a family of five was spending more than 3.5 million Lebanese pounds a month on food alone, it estimated.

Most people are paid in the local currency in Lebanon, where the national minimum wage stands at 675,000 Lebanese pounds.

That was once worth almost 450 dollars at the official exchange rate, but today barely fetches 30 dollars on the black market.

The Observatory said the cost of food has soared by 700 percent over the past two years, and this increase had picked up pace in recent weeks.

“The price of a basic food basket increased by more than 50 percent in less than a month,” it said.

Nasser Yassin, the head of the Observatory and a professor at AUB, told AFP the latest jump in prices was “very, very alarming”.

“We’re witnessing now an exponential increase in a short period of time,” he said.

Food price increases have mostly mirrored the pound’s nosedive, though some traders likely marked up some products in a bid to salvage some of their capital, he explained.

Lebanon has been slowly lifting subsidies on key goods in recent weeks, sending the price of fuel and medicines soaring.

The cash-strapped country is struggling to import enough fuel to keep its power plants online, sparking electricity cuts for up to 23 hours a day in most areas.

The cost of hooking up to a backup neighborhood generator to keep the lights and fridge on has also increased.

AFP is a leading global news agency for comprehensive, verified coverage of events shaping the world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Climate crisis poses an existential threat to humanity: UNHCR

GENEVA - The U.N. Human Rights Council has begun its annual session in Geneva, and in an opening address...

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi misses hearing after falling sick

A lawyer for Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar’s deposed civilian government, says his client missed her...

20 years on, Afghan women rev their struggle for freedom

ISLAMABAD - Twenty-four-year-old Tamana Zaryab Paryani is too young to remember the last Taliban rule, from 1996-2001, but she...

Afghan women WILL NOT study with men in classrooms: Taliban

ISLAMABAD - The Taliban government in Afghanistan said Sunday women can continue to pursue university and post-graduate studies in...

Blinken due to testify about US withdrawal from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to testify Monday before a congressional panel examining the...

As India Covid wanes, nation fears of 2nd vaccine dose compliancy

Kolkata, India: As India witnessed a massive drop in the number of daily covid cases and death rates, authorities...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you