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Food shortage fear sparks panic buying in protest-hit Lebanon :: News , Lebanon News :: THE DAILY ST

BEIRUT: Fearing food shortages in protest-hit Lebanon, Sanaa crammed bags of fava beans into a packed trolley, one of dozens of shoppers who rushed to buy basic supplies in a Beirut department store. “I don’t remember ever stocking up on so much food,” said the 40-year-old woman. “We are preparing for the coming days and the murky phase awaiting us.”

Around Sanaa, a civil servant who asked to use a pseudonym, shoppers swarmed the meat refrigerators and vegetable stalls, mostly ignoring the alcohol and sweets aisles to focus on basic staples.

Lebanon has been gripped by an unprecedented wave of grassroots protests since mid-October, with citizens demanding an overhaul of a political class deemed incompetent and corrupt.

Across the country, supermarkets have been hit by panic-buying amid rumors of an upcoming shortage in food staples and additional price hikes.

Fears were deepened by warnings from gas station owners and hospitals of a shortage of fuel and medicine after banks limited access to the dollars they needed to pay for supplies.

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