Almost 900,000 people in hard-hit areas of Sri Lanka are faced with serious food insecurity and malnutrition due to the country’s worst drought in 40 years. The main harvest (Maha) in March 2017 declined by more than half and the secondary harvest (Yala) in September will also be significantly impacted, bringing hardship and suffering, and increasing indebtedness for poor families.
WFP requires USD 7.2 million to provide a package of assistance including emergency cash distributions to start immediately, resilience- building activities and innovative monitoring systems to bolster against future shocks.
Emergency response to drought:
The Government of Sri Lanka, with technical support from WFP and the participation of UNICEF, FAO and Save the Children, released the report, Joint Assessment of Drought Impact on Food Security and Livelihood. The report is based on a survey to assess the impact of the drought on people in the ten districts most affected by the drought.
The Ministry of Disaster Management has formally requested support from WFP to assist with the drought emergency response. WFP is planning to support through:
Emergency assistance for 25,000 severely affected people by providing cash-based food assistance in the four most severely droughtimpacted districts;
Asset creation for resilience to help affected communities by increasing existing projects on water harvesting, improvement of irrigation and watershed management; and - Technical support to government relief programmes through an integrated drought monitoring system that fuses remote monitoring using satellite precipitation data with real time field level data collected.
WFP has obtained initial funding for an IR-EMOP. Generous funding support was received from the Japanese Association for WFP to initiative the emergency response.
Nutrition – Rice Fortification
- In support of the national effort to scale up food fortification, WFP in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and the Food Fortification Initiative organised a national workshop on food fortification. The workshop was held on 22-23 March, with 70 participants from various government ministries, the private sector, academia, civil society and United Nations agencies.
Delegates from India and Bangladesh also attended to share their experience on rice fortification.