Analysis: Cocoa and cashew nuts – Lebanon’s long subsidy list is costing it dear

Published by
Reuters

By Maha El Dahan BEIRUT (Reuters) – As Lebanon’s hard currency reserves dropped alarmingly last year, its subsidy programme expanded to include cocoa powder, cashew nuts and saffron. The move was designed to support local producers who either made the goods or used them as ingredients, and to complement price support for core items like fuel and wheat aimed at ordinary people caught up in a spiralling financial crisis. But for critics of the government, the additions were a sign of a bloated and poorly managed subsidy system that did not always reach the people it was meant to, encouraged smug…

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