Sri Lanka

WFP Sri Lanka Country Brief, July 2021

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Situation Report
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In Numbers

45 percent of women of reproductive age group are overweight or obese; 33 percent of pregnant and lactating women are anaemic (Demographic and Health Survey, Sri Lanka, 2016).

Moderate acute malnutrition (wasting) of children under 5 is at 15 percent, which WHO defines as being on the threshold border of "very high" in terms of public health significance.

WFP is providing approximately US$ 32,000 as cashbased transfers to 446 participants (1,784 beneficiaries) of resilience projects.

US$ 1.70 million - six months net funding requirement (August 2021 – January 2022)

Situation Updates

• COVID-19 continued its spread throughout the country, particularly in the urban centres of Western Province. An increasing number of patients were diagnosed with the highly contagious Delta variant. At the end of July, the patient count had reached 306,662, while the death toll rose to 4,080. However, 277,117 patients had recovered.

• The Ministry of Health had reached 9.9 million people with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Of them, 2.1 million had received both doses. Further shipments of Sinopharm, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines continued to arrive in Sri Lanka throughout July, enabling further expansion of the vaccination programme in the coming months.

• Inter-provincial travel restrictions were lifted from 16 July, however they were reinstated on 24 July considering the developing COVID-19 situation. Essential services continued to operate as before, but public transport remained limited.

• Schools remained closed while online lessons and televised educational programmes continued to be the standard method of delivery.

Operational Updates

• WFP continued to support smallholder farmers to enhance their productivity and resilience in the dry zone – an area particularly vulnerable to recurring climate shocks. WFP has engaged communities and the Government to rehabilitate community water reservoirs in the Monaragala, Matale, Mullaitivu, Mannar, and Batticaloa districts through the Food Assistance for Assets approach. To ensure the health safety of beneficiaries and government implementing partners from COVID-19, WFP installed handwashing stations at project locations, distributed face masks, and provided contactless thermometers. WFP supports the rehabilitation of community water reservoirs and distribution networks to ensure that farmers continue to have access to water throughout the dry season.