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WFP warns against rising hunger levels in SL

WFP warns against rising hunger levels in SL

By Susitha Fernando

Colombo, Sep 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) Amid skyrocketing food prices and inflation in Sri Lanka, the latest report by the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that hunger levels were rising sharply as four out of of five households were limiting portion sizes and skipping meals to cope with the ongoing economic crisis.

 

Stepping up its emergency operations, the WFP has planned to provide assistance to 3.4 million people with food, cash or vouchers while supporting national programmes, including school meals and provide fortified food to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, as well as children.

Earlier, the WFP's Situation Report for August revealed that 6.3 million people were suffering from food insecurity and 6.7 million of around 22 million population were not consuming adequate portions.

The new report was prepared following a two-day visit by John Aylieff, the WFP's Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, to the island nation.

"Millions of the poorest Sri Lankans can no longer afford an adequate diet and we fear the situation may get worse in the weeks to come," said Aylieff.

"This makes the WFP's response extremely critical. Our priority is to reach families with life-saving food and nutrition assistance, with children and women at the heart of our response."

The WFP report, released on Tuesday, revealed that families were "facing challenges in accessing food, amid income losses, record levels of food price inflation, disruptions to the food supply chain and severe shortages of basic commodities including fuel".

"Prices in urban areas of the capital city of Colombo continue to skyrocket; the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) jumped to 64.3 per cent in August (year-on-year). This marked yet another concerning spike, up from 60.8 per cent in July," it said.

As the island nation continues to grapple with its worst-ever economic crisis since its independence in 1948, the WFP warned that as "prices continue to skyrocket, there are serious concerns that the food security situation could deteriorate even further".

Trapped in a debt crisis and poor handling of the economy by the previous government, including tax reduction to win votes and an overnight ban of chemical fertilizer by the regime led by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, people have been facing severe food, fuel, medicine and power shortages since early this year.

The country's tourism sector, one of the main foreign income generator, has been badly affected due to the crisis after already reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Source: IANS

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WFP warns against rising hunger levels in SL

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