BEIRUT: Baalbek-Hermel MPs met Sunday with farmers whose crops were damaged by unseasonable weather this spring and urged the government to provide compensation.
“The government has not yet made the decision to estimate the damages or compensate the farmers, although we have brought up the subject three times,” said Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, who attended the meeting. “You farmers can now take the appropriate decision and we will be by your side."
For his part, Public Works Minister Ghazi Zeaiter said he would bring up the issue with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and push to address it in the next Cabinet session.
The lawmakers issued a statement at the end of the meeting warning officials against taking “this catastrophe lightly.”
“Our patience has its limits: Do not push us to undesired actions,” the statement said. “Farmers will wait for the next Cabinet session; if the issue is not settled, we will then see what to do.”
During late March, a sudden drop of temperature damaged crops in the Bekaa Valley. The government is suppose to have the Lebanese Army and the Higher Relief Committee survey the damage and compensate farmers accordingly and allow the Agriculture Ministry to provide assistance. But Cabinet has yet to issue an order to do so.