Sri Lanka population continues to feel the brunt of the economic and food crises, as food inflation soars to a staggering 80 percent in June 2022.
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An alarming 6.3 million people (about 3 in 10 households) are now food insecure, according to preliminary findings from WFP and FAO’s joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission. Of this number, 66,000 people are severely food insecure. A full CFSAM report is expected to be released by August.
The majority of households (61 percent) are regularly using food-based coping strategies such as eating less preferred, less nutritious food, and cutting back on food portions. About 6.7 million people are not consuming adequate diets and 5.3 million people are reducing the number of meals eaten.
Food security situation is worse in the estate sector. While urban households are depleting savings to cope for now, estate populations are already turning to credit in order to purchase food and other essentials.
In response to the economic and food crises, WFP has begun implementation of unconditional food assistance through value vouchers directed at nutritionally at-risk pregnant women across Colombo. WFP has so far reached 2,100 beneficiaries (88 percent) of the total 2,375 targeted pregnant women.
WFP is urgently scaling up its operations to reach 3.4 million beneficiaries (in addition to the initially identified 430,000 beneficiaries earlier this year) through unconditional food assistance (in-kind, cash-based transfers, and vouchers), school meals, and nutrition support. It is currently in the process of selecting cooperating partners and financial service providers for the cash and voucher scale-up. ■
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