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22% of SL population in need of food assistance- UN Resident Coordinator

10 June 2022 08:52 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Low-income households are hardest hit 
  • 40 to 50 per cent reduction in paddy crop harvest from the 2021/2022 Maha season  

By Kelum Bandara   

UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer-Hamdy  said 22 per cent of the Sri Lankan population or 4.9 million people live  in need of food assistance at the moment.   In an interview with Daily Mirror, she said several factors  are interacting to put pressure on the current food security situation  in Sri Lanka.  

“We have also seen that low-income households are the hardest hit and adopting negative coping strategies,” she said.   


She said there is a 40 to 50 per cent reduction in paddy  crop harvest from the 2021/2022 Maha season due to a lack of chemical  fertiliser.   


“Since the initial decision to ban the importation of  chemical fertiliser in April 2021, expenditure on fertiliser imports has  fallen by nearly 60 per cent compared to the period before the ban,”  she said.   


Meanwhile, the United Nations team in Sri Lanka and  non-governmental organisations launched a joint Humanitarian Needs and  Priorities (HNP) Plan today, calling for US$47.2 million to provide  life-saving assistance to 1.7 million people worst-hit by the economic  crisis over a four-month period, from June to September, a statement  from it said.   


This directly responds to the Government of Sri Lanka’s  request for a United Nations-backed multi-sector international  assistance to respond to the most urgent needs arising from the recent  crisis, particularly focusing on health care and essential medicines,  food and agriculture—including targeted nutrition services— safe  drinking water, emergency livelihoods and protection.   


Development and humanitarian partners in Sri Lanka estimate  that nearly 5.7 million women, children and men are in need of  immediate life-saving assistance. The 1.7 million people targeted under  the HNP are among those whose livelihoods, food security and access to  health services are most at risk and need immediate support.

 


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