Humanitarian needs in Sri Lanka continued to rise sharply in 2022 as a result of political and economic upheaval, said the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on Monday (19).
Sri Lanka is facing a rapidly growing food security crisis, and one in four people are already facing food insecurity, it added.
Since June 2022, the Food and Agriculture Ogranization of the United Nations (FAO) has scaled up its emergency and resilience interventions, reaching more than 62 640 households (244,300 people).
Challenges facing food security and agriculture:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said that Sri Lanka is witnessing an unprecedented economic crisis, and the situation is exacerbated by political and social turmoil.
Nearly 40 percent of the population of Sri Lanka depend on agriculture as a primary source of income.
The ongoing multidimensional crisis is posing an enormous threat to their livelihoods and disrupting the national food system. Agricultural production is in a downward trend since mid-2021 due to the unavailability of fertilizers and other essential production inputs; livestock keepers are unable to access feed and basic veterinary supplies; and fishers are unable to access fuel for motorized boats.
Consequently, the supply of food in local markets is shrinking and food inflation is soaring, reaching 90 percent in July 2022.
Moreover, four in every ten households experienced a reduction in their incomes, and one in every two households are currently relying on negative coping mechanisms to
cope with the lack of food or money to buy it.
The window of opportunity to support Sri Lankan farmers and their communities is narrowly timebound. Immediate action to provide farmers with quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides will enable them to protect their livelihoods and feed their communities.
It is also critical to provide the most vulnerable farmers, livestock keepers and fishers with cash assistance to enable them to restore their productive assets and fast-track their recovery.
To date, FAO has mobilized USD 51,171,005 for its emergency and resilience interventions to be implemented during 2022/23.