Sri Lanka

WFP Sri Lanka Country Brief, October 2019

Situation Report
Originally published
View original


In Numbers

Poor nutrition among women of reproductive age remains an issue in Sri Lanka, with 10 percent underweight and 45 percent overweight or obese. Meanwhile, 33 percent of pregnant and lactating women are anaemic.
Sri Lanka ranks 2nd of 176 countries prone to climate shocks (Global Climate Risk Index 2019).
US$ 2.93 million – Six months net funding requirement (November 2019 – April 2020)

Operational Updates

• WFP conducted cookery demonstrations during 14 – 16 October in three Ministry of Health (MoH) areas in Wilgamuwa, Matale. It included the participation of public health midwives and leaders of mother support group members. The aim was to promote healthy food preparation, consumption and eating behaviour. The aim was also to break misconceptions, especially those related to gender-discriminating beliefs and practices in food preparation.

• WFP held the first meeting in Thanamalvila on the home-grown school feeding pilot project with government counterparts representing the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture.

• The SUN Business Network met for an informal discussion on healthy diets and Canteen Guidelines which was led by Dr. Bhanuja from the nutrition division of MoH. This meeting was held to inform the private sector on the country’s Canteen Guidelines.

• On October 29, as a result of a tropical low pressure system, located 300km south-west of Colombo, WFP supported the Disaster Management Centre with the preparation of a situation summary report. The low pressure system brought about heavy rains and strong winds that impacted over 6,000 people across the country. The joint report included flood impact mapping, government response information, and system tracking and forecasting.

• WFP actively participated in The Department of Meteorology’s Monsoon Forum on 15 October. This forum explored the second inter-monsoon and north-eastern monsoon and their potential impact over the period of October 2019 to February 2020. WFP assisted authorities to understand short and long term hazard impacts through a real-time monitoring system.

• WFP assisted the Disaster Management Centre with coordination and planning discussions between officials in seven districts: Monaragala, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya and Anuradhapura. These sessions, conducted from 22 to 26 October, focused on government preparedness for the inter-monsoon, north-eastern monsoons and upcoming elections. These officials were from sectors including public administration, shelter and relief, irrigation, and essential services.

• WFP, together with the ILO and the Government, continue to implement a project which aims to increase access to economic empowerment, social integration, resilience and peace building participation for disadvantaged and post-conflict- affected women in Mullaitivu, one of the most isolated and war-affected districts in the northern district of Sri Lanka. WFP has begun construction of agro-wells for household water harvesting during dry months. Water from the asset created will be used to initiate commercial cultivation, expand home gardens to commercial farming and expand the variety of cultivated products. As a result of the assistance, beneficiary households are expected to yield additional and increased income, leading to better food security and nutrition.