Sri Lanka

WFP Sri Lanka Country Brief, July 2020

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Situation Report
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In Numbers

  • 45 percent of women in the reproductive age group are overweight or obese

  • 33 percent of pregnant and lactating women are anaemic

  • USD 5,605 paid as cash-based transfers in July 2020

  • 62 participants (248 beneficiaries) assisted through cash-based transfers in resilience projects for July 2020

  • US$ 0.42 million – Six months net funding requirement (August 2020 – January 2021)

Situation Updates

• By the end of July, the count of COVID-19 confirmed cases had risen to 2,814, mainly from a cluster associated with a quarantine centre. The number of mortalities remained at 11 and 2,391 patients had recovered from the disease.

• Schools that were closed due to COVID-19, were set to open at the end of July, however, this was further postponed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Schools are due to open again after the parliamentary election scheduled for 5 August, likely with a staggered approach.

Operational Updates

• WFP provided resources to the Government to distribute take-home rations to about 80,000 children in the national school feeding programme, which was suspended due to COVID-19 related school closures. As a symbolic gesture, the Government distributed the first take-home rations in a ceremony at a school close to the capital in Colombo, attended by some parents and pupils. Phase 1 of the Ministry’s distribution plan, which was initially due for completion by the end of July, had to be extended and is now due for completion in August.

• The WFP-supported “Supreme Chef” nutrition-based competition (TV series) dedicated their 13th episode to WFP. Focussing on “healthy snacks”, contestants took up two 90-minute challenges to produce a nutritious snack and main course. The Health Promotion Bureau and the Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka judged the competition, with school students joining to sample and comment on the snacks and take part in a ‘Nutritional Quiz’.

• WFP supported the Disaster Management Centre to finalize standard operating procedures together with government stakeholders, for emergency response to the most nutritionally vulnerable groups in the southwestern areas susceptible to monsoon rains.

• To boost emergency preparedness, WFP also extended support to the Disaster Management Centre in developing standard curricula for capacity strengthening in search and rescue, in line with international search and rescue advisory group (INSARAG) guidelines, as well as to finalize risk and resources maps.