Dec 14, Colombo: The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has agreed to provide food items worth Rs. 4.5 billion (US$ 34.7 million) to Sri Lanka during the next two years, the Economic Development Ministry announced today.
WFP Resident Director Mads Lofvall handed over the related document to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office Thursday.
The financial assistance from January 1, 2013 to December 2014 is expected to cover maternal and child nutrition, food for those whose work involves risk, lunch for school children, benefitting a total of 325,000 people per year.
The food aid is given under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) jointly implemented by both Sri Lanka Government and the WFP since year 2002 for providing food assistance to vulnerable people affected by 30 years of armed conflict.
In April this year WFP Sri Lanka, together with the Sri Lankan government, undertook a food security assessment in the formerly conflict-affected Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Preliminary findings have confirmed that recovery is still taking place and that over one million people are food insecure in that part of the country.
According to the Ministry Executive Director of WFP Ertharin Cousin has informed the Minister that approval has been granted for the budget increase to PRRO Sri Lanka.
Resident Director Lofvall has commended government for providing 10,000 metric tons of rice to Ethiopia through the WFP and assured all assistance to Sri Lanka.