Arab countries are wasting over 40 million tons of food

UN report reveals that Arab countries have wasted over 40 million tons of food in 2019 and its intention to slash the amount of food wasted worldwide in half by the year 2030

Libya was one of the countries with the least food wasted in the Arab world, most likely due to its small population of just seven million people. [Photo: Getty Images]
Despite a shared faith that encourages a majority of Arabs to avoid the waste of food, Arab countries collectively waste 40 million tons of food United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced in a report.

despite a stark homelessness issue that affects millions of Egyptians, Egypt with its massive population came in first with over 9 million tons of food wasted in 2019, followed by Iraq with just half of what Egypt had wasted at 4.7 million tons.

Trailing Egypt and Iraq are Sudan at 4.1 million, Algeria at 3.9 million Saudia Arabi at 3.5 million, Morrorrco at 3.3 million, Yemen at 3.02 million, Syria at 1.7 million and Tunisia at 1.06 million.

Libya, the UAE, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain came in last with the least amount of food wasted in that year.

It is expected that with the holy month of Ramadan coming up for the Arab nation, food waste will likely increase as most households will make more than they are likely to consume, a contradictory sentiment to the message behind Ramadan.

However, the report also noted that households are not solely responsible for the food waste increasing, as a lot of waste also occurs before the products even reach the consumer.

It explained that “food loss occurs along the food supply chain from harvest up to, but not including, the retail level. Food waste occurs at the retail, foodservice & consumption levels.”

“The report estimates that food waste from households, retail establishments and the foodservice industry totals 931 million tonnes each year. Nearly 570 million tonnes of this waste occurs at the household level,” it added.

The international organization is seeking to slash the food wasted in the world by half in less than ten years.

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