By Yoshita Singh :
OVER six million people or over 28 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population are “food insecure” and this situation is likely to deteriorate as the crisis unfolds in the island nation which is grappling with its worst economic crisis, the World Food Programme has said. Sri Lanka is currently reeling under a severe foreign exchange crisis with falling reserves and the Government is unable to foot the bill for essential imports. The economic crisis has led to an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas, fuel and toilet paper, with Sri Lankans being forced to wait in lines for hours outside stores to buy fuel and cooking gas.
The WFP on Friday said in a situation report that 6.3 million people (28.3 per cent) in the country are food insecure and this is likely to deteriorate as the crisis unfolds. Of these, at least 65,600 people are severely food insecure. WFP warned that these figures could increase drastically without immediate intervention, the report added. WFP said skyrocketing food costs are making it harder for the population to meet their food needs. About 6.7 million people are not consuming adequate diets and 5.3 million people are reducing the number of meals eaten. The agency is immediately scaling up operations to reach 3.4 million people in 2022. The WFP said it urgently requires 63 million dollars to carry out its life-saving assistance.