The United Nations estimates that a quarter of Sri Lanka’s population lacks basic food needs. Sri Lanka Crisis: UN Estimates

Colombo: The United Nations (UN) estimates that about a quarter of the country’s population suffers from a lack of basic food and nutritional needs and needs food aid.

At the same time, figures released Monday by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics show that about 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s 22 million people already suffer from food security problems before epidemics. ۔ Even more serious when the authorities shut down the economy and imposed a complete ban on the use of chemical fertilizers.

Difficult situations arose only at the end of 2019.
“By the end of 2019, 9.1% of Sri Lanka’s population was deficient in basic foodstuffs, of which 0.9%, or about 200,000 people were on the brink of starvation,” said the Department of Census and Statistics. The Nodal Agency said that the share of food insecurity at the domestic level has risen to 9.45%, indicating that one in 10 households is facing serious problems in accessing food and nutritional needs.

However, the situation worsened in 2020 when the authorities locked down the country and imposed severe and prolonged restrictions on economic activities for two years due to COVID-19, which destroyed the livelihood of the people and they Drowned in poverty.

Controversial decision of the President
In April last year, President Gotabaya Raja Pakse announced a controversial ban on chemical fertilizers, which dealt a severe blow to rice and other essential food items. Before the ban on fertilizers, Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in rice production. The situation was exacerbated by the severe shortage of foreign exchange reserves.

Hannah Singer Hamdi, the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, said that about 4.9 million people are currently in need of food aid, which is about 25% of the country’s population.

Amid severe food shortages in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday spoke to David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, and invited him to visit the country.

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