The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is concerned about the impact of the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka on food supplies for the country’s poorest.
Nearly 6.3 million people, or three in 10 households, are at risk of food insecurity and need assistance, the WFP said in a statement of thanks for an aid contribution from Norway of the equivalent of about $500,000.
Recent WFP surveys show that 61 per cent of families are either eating less, or eating less nutritious food, or even skipping meals altogether, due to the acute emergency, reports dpa news agency.
An emergency programme is being set up to help 3.4 million people in Sri Lanka who are most at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition, it added.
The island nation, with a population of about 22 million, is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since it gained independence in 1948.
Most recently, the country, which is $51 billion in foreign debt, lacked the money to import essential goods such as fuel, medicines and gas for cooking.
Food prices have risen sharply and inflation is already over 60 per cent, according to official figures.
“We are deeply concerned about the impact of the current economic and political crisis on the people of Sri Lanka,” Norwegian Ambassador Trine Joranli Eskedal was quoted as saying.
Food shortages and rising prices have had a particularly negative impact on women and children in the island nation.