Norway: Critical contribution to support Sri Lankans

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a critical contribution of NOK 5 million ($500,000) from the Government of Norway to support Sri Lankans struggling to feed their families.

WFP’s emergency food and nutrition operation aims to assist 3.4 million of the Sri Lankans most at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition amid record food inflation, skyrocketing fuel prices and widespread shortages of essential commodities.

Deeply concerned

“We are deeply concerned about the impact of the current economic and political crisis on the people of Sri Lanka. The food shortages and increasing prices have a particularly adverse effect on children and women. We consider it an urgent priority to address the immediate food and nutrition needs. Norway is now contributing NOK 5 million (approximately Rs. 189 million) to the efforts of the World Food Programme in assisting the most vulnerable groups in Sri Lanka,” said H.E. Trine Jøranli Eskedal, Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

WFP assists 3 million

“We are grateful to the Norwegian Government for this much-needed contribution to WFP’s efforts to assist over 3 million people struggling to meet basic food needs. Acting now helps us to reduce the impact of the crisis on the poorest, most vulnerable Sri Lankans,” said Abdur Rahim Siddiqui, Representative and Country Director for WFP in Sri Lanka.

WFP is boosting existing social safety net programmes to assist one million children through the national school meal programme, one million targeted beneficiaries as part of a government programme which provides fortified food to mothers and children, and almost one and a half million people in need of emergency food assistance through food, cash, or vouchers.

Nearly 6.3 million people – or 3 in 10 households – are food insecure and in need of assistance. WFP’s recent surveys indicated that 61 percent of families are resorting to at least one coping mechanism, including eating less, eating less nutritious food, and even skipping meals altogether.