The Government of Japan has contributed an additional US$6.6 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide critical food and nutrition assistance to over one million Sri Lankans.
Through this funding, WFP will provide families with food baskets comprising rice, pulses and cooking oil, to meet half their monthly food needs for a period of two months. The donation will also be used to procure maize and soybean for the production of Thriposha, a fortified food product, for a period of four months, which will be supplied to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and young children at risk of malnutrition.
Mizukoshi Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka said, “We are pleased to announce that the Government of Japan has decided to provide additional humanitarian support to Sri Lanka in this critical moment. Food aid through WFP by the Government of Japan has reached a total of USD10 million since the economic crisis began last year. This support is being used to provide essential food and nutrition to communities across the nation.”
WFP’s latest surveys indicate that food insecurity is still at a concerningly high level. Seven in every 10 households are adopting negative coping strategies such as cutting back on nutritious food like protein and dairy or skipping meals altogether.
“Our biggest concern is for the women and children who are among those affected by the impacts of the economic crisis,“ said Abdur Rahim Siddiqui, Representative and Country Director of WFP Sri Lanka. “We are grateful for the continuous support from the Government of Japan which enables us to scale up our efforts so that vulnerable communities receive the food and nutrition they need.”
Japan has been a long-standing donor to the Government of Sri Lanka and WFP for over a decade, providing critical assistance in emergencies, while supporting longer-term recovery and development efforts to strengthen food and nutrition security in the country. Japan’s latest funding is an extension of its support to the people of Sri Lanka to help safeguard communities affected by the economic crisis.
WFP has reached over two million people since commencing its emergency operation in June last year and is moving closer to its target of reaching 3.4 million people with food and nutrition assistance.