Over 709,400 people affected by severe drought

Over 709,400 people have been affected by the severe drought which has affected most parts of the country, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today.

Gampaha, Monaragala, Kalutara and Trincomalee are among the worst affected areas.

The drought has resulted in farmers suffering without adequate water.

The World Food Program (WFP) said in a country update that Sri Lanka is preparing for serious difficulties this year in terms of food and nutrition insecurity until the main harvest in March/April 2018.

The expected failure of the main harvest (Maha) season in March/April 2017 could be the worst main agricultural season in the last 40 years.

The Ministry of Disaster Management (MoDM) and the External Resources Department of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs have requested drought-related support from WFP, in particular Cash for Work/Food Assistance for Asset Creation.

WFP is deciding on response options while awaiting the Government’s formal request for assistance to the international community.

WFP technical experts led a preliminary drought rapid assessment using WFP modelling. The report was submitted to a sub-Cabinet Ministers meeting on the drought held on 3 January and was pivotal in alerting government and other stakeholders to the severity of the drought.

WFP and the Government will led a joint emergency assessment this month to assess the impact of the drought on household food security and livelihoods.

The Department of Meteorology said that rain is expected in some parts of Sri Lanka this week.  (Colombo Gazette)

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