The Executive Board of the World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday approved US$ 39.8 million for conflict affected areas in Sri Lanka to reach 371,000 people.
The funds were given under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) for Sri Lanka entitled “Supporting Relief and Early Recovery in Former Conflict-Affected Areas”.
The total cost of the operation is US $ 39,755,501.
The External Affairs Ministry in a statement noted that the objective of PRRO is to reduce hunger, support early recovery and rebuild livelihoods among IDPs and recent-returnee households. “This one-year protracted relief and recovery operation will focus on targeting humanitarian and early recovery needs in the north, while integrating a strong protection element to ensure that remaining internally displaced persons are adequately cared for until resettlement.”
WFP will shift from an emphasis on relief for internally displaced persons to a more targeted approach supporting early recovery activities such as school feeding and nutrition interventions in the resettlement areas of the north. The operation will target 371,000 beneficiaries comprising internally displaced persons in camps, returnees and host communities.
“The early recovery strategy will focus on restoring the individual and community productive assets of recently returned households, and will be linked to longer-term development initiatives. The priority will be to help people prepare for the next major harvest. A mother-and-child health and nutrition programme will be implemented through health centres, to provide essential nutritional support to the most vulnerable, and a school meals programme will complement nutritional inputs in the north. Vulnerability analysis and mapping will be central to obtaining and using food security and market information.”
Ambassador Hemantha Warnakulasuriya thanking the WFP said that providing adequate food, supporting early recovery activities and restoring livelihoods devastated by three decades of conflict will build hope for a better future among the conflict affected people in the North, which is essential for reconciliation and peace. He added that the WFP assistance under this PRRO is in line with government and humanitarian planning priorities. Ambassador Warnakulasuriya also expressed his grateful thanks to WFP for its extraordinary response when emergency aroused with influx of large number of IDPs in 2009.
WFP continues to focus on meeting the food and nutrition needs of the returnees as they attempt to regain their livelihoods, thereby promoting food security and peace and reconciliation. WFP activities in Sri Lanka have largely achieved the goals of maintaining good nutritional intake and preventing increased malnutrition rates among beneficiaries.