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31 Jan 2017 description

Experts meet in Delhi to discuss how South Asian countries could adopt the new drought monitoring system to better prepare and mitigate drought risks

26 Jan 2017 description

The 2015-2016 El Niño phenomenon has been one of the strongest on record, affecting deeply the lives and livelihoods of more than 60 million people across 40 countries. It has devastated crops and killed livestock, in some cases dried up water-sources in others caused massive flooding, driven up malnutrition rates, increased disease outbreaks and caused significant migration.

25 Jan 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

Sri Lanka is heading into one of its worst droughts in recent history, and according some estimates the worst in 30 years. The reservoirs are running on empty, at 30 percent or less capacity. Only 12 percent of the island’s power generation is currently from hydropower and 85 percent comes from thermal, with a staggering 41 percent from coal.

The rains have stayed away like never before. According to a recent survey by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the government, last year’s rains were 23 percent less than the 30-year average.

24 Jan 2017 description


  • “Maha” cereal crop in 2017 significantly impaired by dry weather conditions

  • Rice import needs forecast to increase in 2017

  • Prices of rice hit record levels in December, while those of wheat remain generally stable

  • Large numbers of people affected by lingering effects of drought in 2016

Dry weather conditions impair the 2017 “maha” cereal output significantly

23 Jan 2017 description


As of 17 January, an estimated 644,000 people across eight provinces have been affected by drought and salt water intrusion over the past four months. Batticaloa District in Eastern province is the worst affected with 302,000 people experiencing the effects of drought.

The Government has initiated water trucking in Batticaloa and taken measures to import additional rice in the event the prolonged drought has significant impact on food supplies. The President of Sri Lanka has established a Task Force to coordinate the response.

19 Jan 2017 description

A special discussion was held at the President's Official Residence today (18) under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, to look into the preparations at Ministerial level to provide essential reliefs to the public during the impending drought situation in Sri Lanka.

The President has given instructions to appoint a special committee comprising Secretaries of the Ministries of Power and Energy, Mahaweli and Water Supply, to make quick decisions in the process of providing relief to the people minimizing the difficulties.

18 Jan 2017 description

Officials are removing taxes on imported rice, restricting reservoir use and looking for alternatives to hydropower as drought looms

By Amantha Perera

COLOMBO, Jan 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - With rainfall in many areas just a third of that last year and many water reservoirs far below normal levels, Sri Lankans have begun holding traditional ceremonies to invoke rain - some with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena.

16 Jan 2017 description


  • Sri Lanka is experiencing drought. Assessments revealed that 915,000 people have been affected in 23 districts among the 25 districts in Sri Lanka.

  • The Ministry of Disaster Management and WFP jointly organized Simex – a ‘Simulation Exercise’. The three-day exercise enabled one hundred emergency response experts from the Government, UN agencies and NGOs to coordinate a timely and effective response to a national emergency.

Operational Updates

13 Jan 2017 description

There will be a lack of rain fall leading to a severe a drought during the coming three months and the public is asked to use water and electricity carefully, said Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

He was addressing a press conference today (13th Jan.) at the Department of Government Information.

15 Dec 2016 description


  • Emergency response to the victims of cyclone Roanu, using the Government’s social safety net ‘Divineguma’ for cash-based transfers for the first time, successfully concluded.
  • Lessons learnt workshop was conducted to pave the way forward for a joint potential agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and WFP on implementing strengthened emergency response, using cash-based transfers through the Government’s safety net programme.

WFP Assistance

21 Nov 2016 description


  • The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and WFP signed a three-year agreement to roll out activities that improves food security, nutrition and resilience to climate-related shocks in nine disaster-prone districts of Sri Lanka.

  • WFP is monitoring the ongoing drought in Sri Lanka that has affected 216,000 families. The Meteorological Department has expressed its concern that there will be 50 percent less rainfall than expected.

WFP Assistance

16 Nov 2016 description

Life was supposed to be easier for families after the civil war - but unexpected pressures are taking a toll

By Amantha Perera

MAHAVELITHANNE, Sri Lanka, Nov 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the last quarter century, Mohamed Azur fled his home three times as civil war raged around him, returning when the fighting subsided for a time.