By Kelum Bandara
The World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a shortfall of 40 percent of resources to meet the food needs of around 300,000 resettled and displaced people in the North, officials said
WFP Country Director Adnan Khan told the Daily Mirror in an email interaction that the project for the provision of food aid to these people would continue till the end of this year.
“For the displaced and returnees, WFP has secured about 60% of the resources required to meet the needs of more than 300,000 beneficiaries in the north. The project goes up to the end of 2011,” he said.
Asked about flood victims, he said that, for flood victims, the WFP had secured 83% of the total resources required under its Emergency Operation project (EMOP), supporting about 500,000 beneficiaries.
“The project goes up to January 31, 2012, when the Maha season harvests are expected. The EMOP targets five districts in the eastern part of Sri Lanka that have been hardest hit by the floods,” he said.
He said flood-affected people were initially targeted with relief food assistance, and later , they were provided assistance under the Food for Work (FFW) and the Food for Asset (FFA) programmes. The WFP’s basic food ration consists of rice, wheat flour, pulses, sugar and oil. A special fortified blended food product called Corn Soya Blend (CSB) is being provided to the children under five, pregnant and lactating women under the mother and child health and nutrition project.
Asked how the global food prices affected the WFP activities locally, he said there had been no such impact yet.
“However, higher food prices and the volatility in commodity markets are to be monitored. According to a new report by the OECD and FAO, food prices will remain higher in the next decade than over the past 10 years as agricultural production slows and the demand increases. The WFP continues to monitor the market situation carefully as price rises can hit hard the most vulnerable and food insecure people due to inconsistent food availability, the lack of physical access and the purchasing power of people caused by inflation. Higher prices can mean less food for the food insecure and undernourished,” he said. (Daily Mirror)