13 Nov 2014
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In 2014, after the northeast monsoon failed, crops were damaged by the prolonged drought and water supplies dried up in many regions of Sri Lanka. In July 2014, the Emergency Relief Coordinator approved a US$2 million rapid response CERF grant to support humanitarian partners providing live-saving aid to thousands of people.  

A World Food Programme (WFP)-led Rapid Drought Assessment estimated that 770,000 people were affected by the drought. WFP received a $1.7 million CERF-grant to assist 190,000 people in urgent need of food assistance.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) respectively received $296,613 and $94,204 to ensure emergency water and food aid to people in need

WFP’s assistance included the provision of food, such as rice, beans and vegetable oil, as well as $277,500 in cash for affected families to buy their own food.

"WFP is always determined to assist people affected by climate shock in Sri Lanka and after responding to the short-term needs of those affected by drought, WFP will redouble its efforts to support the affected people to rebuild resilience through food for work programmes“, said Ismail Omer, WFP Representative in Sri Lanka.

WFP delivered food to distribution centres in the 10 affected districts and continues to work towards longer-term goals to mitigate the effects of climate change and recurrent droughts in the country.

This will include cash- or food-for-work projects, such as rainwater harvesting and de-silting small water reservoirs, tree planting to prevent soil erosion and land degradation.

More details on WFP activities in Sri Lanka can be found here.