Food crisis in Sri Lanka likely to worsen amid poor agricultural production, price spikes and ongoing economic crisis.
30 percent of the Sri Lanka population are experiencing acute food insecurity and will likely deteriorate further unless urgent assistance is provided,an international humanitarian aid society claimed.
At least 6.3 million people in Sri Lanka are still facing moderate to severe acute food insecurity and their situation is expected to worsen in 2023 if adequate life-saving assistance and livelihood support is not provided.
Two consecutive seasons of poor harvests led to a nearly 50 percent drop in production coupled with reduced imports of food grains due to foreign exchange constraints.
Without assistance, the food security situation is expected to deteriorate further, particularly during the October 2022 to February 2023 lean season, driven by poor harvests of staple foods, in particular paddy rice, and the ongoing economic crisis
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that the impact of the economic crisis is still high in Sri Lanka, and various studies have highlighted that the crisis is not going away anytime soon, but will become protracted, and people’s situation will steadily deteriorate further over time.
“6.3 million People in Sri Lanka are still facing moderate to severe acute food insecurity and their situation is expected to worsen in 2023 if adequate life-saving assistance and livelihood support is not provided. Therefore, it is crucial to provide continuous support to crisis-affected people in Sri Lanka,” IFRC said.
The IFRC said that its operational update is issued mainly to inform that the operation is to be extended until 31 December 2023, and will be incorporated into the Sri Lanka Country Unified Plan.
A standard 12-month report of the appeal will be issued by 31 July 2023 to inform the progress of the operation until 6 June 2023.
Onwards, the project code for the operation will be maintained, and reporting of the operation will be aligned with the bi-annual reporting of the unified plan of Sri Lanka.
Additionally, a work plan for the operation until the end of 2023 will be available by the time the 12-month report is issued.
The current crisis in Sri Lanka is affecting all sectors of society and has created the conditions for increased vulnerability, poverty, and destitution among a significant proportion of the population.
In October 2022, approximately 9.6 million people (42 percent of the total population) fell below the international poverty line for lower-middle-income countries.
More than 60 percent of families are eating less, and eating cheaper, less nutritious food.This comes at a time when financial constraints have forced the government to scale back on nutrition programs, such as school meals and fortified food to mothers and undernourished children.
According to UN OCHA, an estimated 5.7 million people (26 percent of the population) or more are now in need of humanitarian assistance, with at least 4.9 million (22 percent) being food insecure.