Japan extends first tranche of US$ 1.5 aid to tackle SL’s food insecurity
Sri Lanka’s current food insecurity is to be handled with the financial assistance of US $1.5 million (Rs600 million) pledged by Japan in May this year by providing food for children and families in need of support.
The first tranche of Japan’s food assistance pledged has been provided through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to Sri Lanka, where more than 6 million people – nearly 30 percent of the population, are facing a worsening food crisis
This first tranche forms part of the donation consisting of rice, lentils, and oil, and valued at US$1.5 million, which will be distributed by WFP to approximately 15,000 people in both urban and rural areas and 380,000 schoolchildren
Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Mizukoshi Hideaki handed over the donation to Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security Nalin Fernando in the presence of WFP Representative and Country Director Abdur Rahim Siddiqui, during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security on Monday.
Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, Mizukoshi Hideaki said, “Japan has been able to handover the first tranche of essential food supplies with the rapid procurement of WFP, which will be delivered to vulnerable families and children across the island who are facing extreme hardship, amidst prevailing food shortages and soaring food prices during this unprecedented economic crisis.
He expressed the hope that this humanitarian assistance will provide relief to all the people in need and help them meet their daily nutritional requirement.”
The Japanese Government was one of the first to pledge support to WFP’s appeal. The donation will go a long way in addressing Sri Lanka’s growing food insecurity while shortages of food and other essentials and skyrocketing prices continue to impact millions of people’s ability to maintain an adequate and nutritious diet,” said WFP’s Siddiqui.
A recent survey by WFP and FAO indicates that many of the households – over 60 percent – are resorting to coping mechanisms, such as reducing portion sizes and eating less nutritious food, which could aggravate the already-high malnutrition rates among women and children.
In response, WFP is mobilizing funds and support to provide emergency assistance to 3.4 million people, including 1.4 million people who are in dire need of emergency food assistance, through food, cash or voucher assistance as well one million schoolchildren and one million pregnant and breastfeeding women by supporting the existing national social safety net programmes