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Facts & Information

WFP logoInformation from the World Food Programme (Sri Lanka) web site - June 2010


Sri Lanka map - World Food ProgrammeSri Lanka is classified as a low-income, food-deficit country. In recent years, the prevailing conflict and the frequency of droughts, floods and landslides have further reduced people’s access to food. The Demographic Health Survey of 2000/2001 showed that 29 percent of Sri Lankan children aged between three months and five years were underweight. The same survey found that 14 percent of children had stunted growth, and one out of six children had low birth weight.

WFP’s subsequent surveys in the North and East in September 2003 indicated that the malnutrition rates amongst 5 to 7 year olds surveyed was much higher than expected and at times double the national average: In these conflict affected areas, 51 percent of this age group was found to be underweight while the levels of wasting and stunting were 30 percent and 27 percent respectively.

A comprehensive rapid nutritional assessment in Mullaitivu District in September 2004 found that 38 percent of children under five were underweight – 7 percent higher than the national average. The level of wasting was 21 percent and stunting 18 percent. Both indicators are 5-7 percent higher than the national average.

WFP Activities

WFP’s activities in Sri Lanka continue to focus on providing support to the most vulnerable groups and for peace building to resolve the 23 year old conflict in the country through food assistance. The three main components of WFP interventions in Sri Lanka are:

  • Nutritional supplementation to pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as to children 6 months to 5 years;
  • School meals to address short term hunger in primary/secondary schools;
  • Food for work for seasonally unemployed people and landless labourers.

Emergency assistance to those who have fled conflict areas and have become internally displaced is the fourth component that is activated as and when necessary. These programmes assist population groups that constitute the most vulnerable and food insecure groups in the country.

Sunday Island logoArticle from the Sri Lankan newspaper, Sunday Island
To view the article online click here or to read a pdf version click here

Oru Paanai - feeding hungry children in Sri Lanka
Charity no: 1136376

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