The World Food Programme (WFP) says 66 percent of Sri Lankans surveyed have been found to have reduced the number of meals eaten daily.
The WFP and the Government conducted a joint rapid food security assessment in April.
It surveyed the poorest households in 17 districts and found that 86 percent are using coping mechanisms such as purchasing cheaper, less nutritious food (95 percent); limiting portion sizes (83 percent); and reducing the number of meals eaten daily (66 percent).
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. The population is struggling to meet their daily food and nutrition needs in the face of shortages and higher food prices for food and fuel.
Employment and household incomes have been battered by COVID and this latest economic crisis, directly affecting people’s ability to afford food and other essential items.
Food inflation in Sri Lanka is 57 percent, driven by rising global food prices, dwindling foreign reserves, unfavourable exchange rates and low domestic food production.
The United Nations is appealing for US$ 47.2 million to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of 1.7 million people until September. Of this, USD10 million is for WFP activities.
The Government is providing cash transfers to 3.3 million people through its social safety net programme with support from international financial institutions. However, several vital national nutritional support programmes have stalled due to lack of funds. (Colombo Gazette)