The failure of the south-west monsoon has caused a severe drought in Sri Lanka, affecting over 1.3 million people in 20 out of the 25 districts. A rapid assessment was conducted by WFP Sri Lanka in 16 of the worst affected districts. Preliminary findings indicate substantial livelihood impact on a broad spectrum of the population and a deterioration of food security. Drought has affected paddy production in the March to September season. Government reports show that 76,000 hectares (19 per cent of planted area) of paddy have been damaged. Expected paddy production stands at 1.1 million tons, a 29 per cent loss compared to the forecast harvest for the season.
In April this year WFP Sri Lanka, together with the Government of Sri Lanka, 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.