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WFP Urgently Needs USD 1.3 million

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya

  • Over 150,000 children risk losing balanced diet 
  • WFP and FAO support the government 
  • A 3 day residential simulation exercise was held
The World Food Programme is in urgent need of USD 1.3 million for the school meals programme to cover the gap of vegetable oil (from January) and pulses (from March) for the year 2017, which is critical to ensure a balanced diet.

Without the lentils and vegetable oil, 155,000 children in 986 schools will have just rice, and in some cases Japanese-donated tinned fish (which is not suitable for vegetarian communities), WFP said in a report.

The WFP said that its Country Programme (CP) is to transition towards providing a more holistic support to the government’s efforts to address hunger and malnutrition and build resilience to climate-related shocks.

The CP is implemented in partnership with government ministries, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

The CP aligns with the government’s commitment to achieve SDG 2 ‘Zero Hunger’ and the UN Development Assistance Framework cycle 2013-2017. The goals of the CP are to reduce malnutrition among children under 5 and pregnant and nursing women, increase food intake and school attendance among primary schoolchildren in areas experiencing a scarcity of food, enhance vulnerable households’ resilience to shocks and facilitate adaptation to climate change and increase government capacities to address food and nutrition insecurity.

Through the School Meals Programme, WFP provides nutritious mid-morning meals to 160,000 school children in the Northern Province, contributing to increased attendance and retention rates and improved learning performance.

WFP supports resilience building against climate shocks through adaptation measures to improve food and nutrition security for the climate shock-affected communities.

It also focuses on the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition through targeted supplementary feeding for children aged 6-59 months using Super Cereal Plus, a nutritious corn soya blend.

WFP and FAO support the government in implementing its Multi-Sectoral Action Plan on Nutrition. The action plan includes conducting nutrition baseline surveys, promoting food fortification and supporting policy formulation. The joint programme is funded by the Spanish Cooperation through the Sustainable Development Goal Fund (SDG-F). WFP provides technical support to the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine to enhance the impact of Thriposha, a nutritious, locally fortified blended food.

Meanwhile in operational updates, WFP said that a Lessons Learned Workshop on cash-based emergency response through the government safety net programme was jointly organized by WFP, the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs last month.

Key officials including the Minister of Disaster Management and secretaries of key ministries led the workshop.

A rice fortification workshop, led by the Ministry of Health and supported by WFP, was also held in Kilinochchi and attended by 130 participants from the health and education sectors. The purpose of the workshop was to sensitize stakeholders on rice fortification and the planned pilot study to assess the operational feasibility and acceptability of fortified rice in schools and communities.

WFP said in the report that it is also spearheading an Emergency Cyclone Simulation Exercise with the Ministry of Disaster Management. The three-day residential simulation exercise will equip government, I/NGOs, UN agencies and civil society to respond to a national emergency coordination for large-scale disasters with the government of Sri Lanka.

WFP is supporting the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of the Ministry of Disaster Management in establishing a ‘72 hour assessment approach’, an innovative rapid assessment approach that aims to provide a ‘good enough’ estimate on the number of affected people and their location within the first three days following a significant natural disaster.

A national consultant has been recruited by WFP and positioned within the DMC to support the Ministry of Disaster Management to provide support in emergency preparedness and response under an 18 month project funded by OFDA (USAID).

Planning is underway to conduct an inception workshop for the KOICA-funded Resilience Building and Livelihoods project with central ministries and in nine project implementation districts.

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