Malnutrition spreads faster in Tiger territory: UN agency

The United Nations World Food Program Tuesday said that malnutrition was spreading at an alarming rate in Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebel-held regions with nearly one in five children suffering stunted growth. The United Nations World Food Program Tuesday said that malnutrition was spreading at an alarming rate in Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebel-held regions with nearly one in five children suffering stunted growth. The World Food Program said a recent survey in the rebel-stronghold of Wanni found that a lack of clean water, irregular supply of food and an environment causing mental stress contributed to the nutrition problem.

“While malnutrition remains an island-wide problem, the results of the survey indicate that malnutrition rates in the Wanni are about eight percent higher than the national average,” the WFP said in a statement.

It did not suggest remedial action, but said one in four children between the ages of one and two years were “wasted”, or had low weight for their age. Boys were more affected than girls.

Out of a total of 12,896 children under the age of five years surveyed, 18.2 percent were stunted, or below height for their age, 21.6 percent were wasted and 36.9 percent were underweig