Govt-Washington talks to obtain urgent relief | Sunday Observer
To combat potential multi-dimensional food security problem:

Govt-Washington talks to obtain urgent relief

19 June, 2022

The Government is now in talks with Washington to obtain urgent development and humanitarian aid to combat a potential multi-dimensional food security problem that would predominantly affect children in the country, National Child Protection Authority sources told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

National Child Protection Authority’s Director General Anoma Siriwardena said that efforts are under way in collaboration with the line ministries, the United Nations, Save the Children Sri Lanka, and other organisations to obtain United States Agency for International Development (USAID) support for a $44.2 million program to address the food needs of children from families who are unable to provide adequate food for their children.

Siriwardena said that officers of the National Child Protection Authority branches were currently conducting vulnerability studies in eight districts to identify the families who have economic problems with their children suffering from impaired growth and development and who experience poor nutrition, repeated infection and inadequate psychological stimulation.

“We will include all of this into a humanitarian needs and priorities plan. The vulnerability studies will conclude in two weeks,” she said, adding that Save the Children is collaborating with them to prepare it.

Diplomatic sources said that USAID had agreed in principle to assist Sri Lanka in meeting its food emergency needs, based on a humanitarian and priority plan furnished by Sri Lanka.

This follows UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer Hamdy’s recent appeal to the international community to support Sri Lanka.

Besides, the US had announced on Thursday that it will contribute six million US dollars in emergency aid to meet the needs of marginalised and vulnerable groups affected by Sri Lanka’s economic crisis.

According to Save the Children sources, USAID has responded favourably to the UN’s call for assistance to Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had recently called upon UN Secretary General António Guterres for multi-sectoral international aid to help the country overcome its economic crisis.

According to Save theChildren sources, they have created a program for the benefit of 100,000 school students in eight districts, where nutritional food will be distributed with funding from USAID.

“This will cover 887 schools in eight districts,” said a Save the Children official Ranjan Wettasinghe.