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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, May 23, 2005

WFP provides food aid to tsunami affected people in Sri Lanka

Colombo Page: 19/05/2005"

The malnutrition rates for women and children under five remain far too high.

May 19, Colombo: United Nations World Food Program said today that it has dispatched 50,000 tons of food aid to tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka and observed that in just five months the organisation has delivered more than it usually does in three years.

Anthony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia said that the organisation began delivering food aid within two days after the tsunami struck and it has been delivering 10,000 tons per month since then, enough to provide a full food ration for 910,000 people.

"Delivering so much food so quickly is remarkable achievement. It has ensured that life saving aid has reached and continue to reach all those in need. But WFP has only been able to keep the food pipeline flowing at this unprecedented rate thanks to our very close cooperation with Sri Lanka government and the swift and sustained support of international donors," he said.

Currently around 40 trucks loaded with up to 400 tons of food aid leave Colombo daily to the 12 affected districts. The organisation has also sent another 500 tons of rice by train to Batticaloa and will be sending aid cargoes to Trincomalee, shortly.

Mr. Bandury said that the most acute relief phase was ending. "But the WFP cannot relax because tens of thousands of families will need our help for months to come. When I went to Galle it was obvious that food aid will be just as vital during the long recovery phase ahead," he said.

He added that responding to the request of the Sri Lanka Government, the WFP will continue general food distribution for 910,000 beneficiaries until the end of June, this year.

"The WFP has been working in Sri Lanka since 1968 and much progress has been made during that time in the fight against hunger. However the malnutrition rates for women and children under five remain far too high. WFP will continue to work with the government and donors to tackle these issues and to help improve the lives of many other poor and vulnerable people across the country,” he said.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency. Each year, the organisation gives food to an average of 56 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries.

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