The President’s Office has directed state institutions to ensure that no citizens should starve due to lack of food and children should not be victims of malnutrition.
A circular has been sent out to ministries, provincial council chief secretaries, district and divisional secretaries to implement a series of decisions and an accelerated national multi-sector combined programme to ensure food security and protect children from malnutrition.
The directives came as the latest UN report on Sri Lanka warned that acute food insecurity has risen dramatically in Sri Lanka and it is estimated that 6.2 million people or 28 percent of the population are moderately acute food insecure with 66,000 people being severely acute food insecure.
The report, based on a Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission jointly carried out by the government, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme, warned that the situation was likely to deteriorate from October 2022 to February 2023.
The President’s Office said that under the programme, a National Food Security and Nutrition Council presided over by the President and including the Prime Minister and 15 ministries had been set up, in addition to several other measures.
At the grassroots level, rural economic revival centres will be established with the Grama Sevaka Niladhari, midwife, Samurdhi Development Officer, Economic Development Officer and school principals of among others being members.
Their task will be to ensure that no family suffers from starvation, no child suffers from malnutrition and take steps to rescue families and people in their division from the poverty trap.