Lebanon has been plunged into darkness while hospitals and bakeries have sounded the alarm in connection with the growing diesel shortage crisis.
As Lebanon’s biggest serums factory announced that it has stopped its manufacturing operations due to lack of diesel and some hospitals said that they will soon stop operating, the association of flour mill owners issued a statement saying that several mills have closed due to the same reason.
“The other mills will successively and gradually stop operating within several days according to their diesel reserves,” the association warned, which threatens to deprive citizens and residents of the vital bread commodity.
The head of the association of bakery owners, Ali Ibrahim, meanwhile decried in remarks to al-Akhbar newspaper “the indifference of the officials,” after he sounded the alarm five days ago in a bid to avoid the crisis.
He warned that the “real crisis” will begin on Thursday, unless “a miracle happens and bakeries receive diesel supplies” on Wednesday.
“I told all the bakeries that called me yesterday to inform me that they had run out of diesel to turn off their ovens and close their doors,” Ibrahim said.
He also noted that he had asked officials about the presence of diesel in large quantities on the black market and its absence through licensed suppliers, lamenting that his warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
Diesel is meanwhile needed to operate the privately-owned neighborhood generators that supply subscribers with much-needed electricity amid the cash-strapped country’s severe power rationing crisis.
Lebanon, grappling with an economic crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the planet’s worse since the mid-19th century, has been hit in recent months by a wave of shortages of basic items from medicine to fuel. Foreign currency reserves are rapidly depleting, forcing the country to scale-down imports to shore up the little money it has left. Some traders and importers have been meanwhile accused of hoarding essential supplies and withholding them from the market in order to achieve hefty profits.