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UN World Food Programme concerned about food crisis in Sri Lanka

Published August 06,2022
A street vendor sells Sri Lankan fish patties, which the price has risen four times for last two years, at a residential area for low-income, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 31, 2022. (REUTERS Photo)
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is concerned about the impact of the 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% of families are either eating less, or eating less nutritious food, or even skipping meals altogether, due to the acute emergency, it said.

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 to the south of India, with a population of about 22 million, is in the midst of its worst economic crisis in decades.

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%, 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 Jøranli Eskedal was quoted as saying.

Food shortages and rising prices have had a particularly negative impact on women and children in the island nation.