COLOMBO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing cash assistance to more than 40,000 people affected by recent floods in the hardest-hit districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kegalle and Ratnapura.
The cash will come in the form of a top-up of the Government of Sri Lanka’s Samurdhi social safety net scheme, which aims to help poor families meet their food and nutrition needs.
Tropical Cyclone Roanu caused widespread flooding and landslides in many parts of Sri Lanka in late May, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, destroying homes and burying entire villages. As much as 300 mm of rain fell over three days in some locations, causing the worst floods in more than a decade.
"Among the thousands of people who lost their homes and livelihoods, there are also families who need food as they struggle to rebuild their lives,” said Susana Rico, Officer in Charge of WFP in Sri Lanka. “This cash assistance will allow them to buy their preferred, nutritious food quickly. It will also prevent the poorest – many of whom have watched the assets of their life's savings buried in landslides – from building up high debts to feed their families."
The cash transfer of US$ 60 per month is designed to meet the daily calorie requirements of a family of four, based on the prices of basic food commodities in the market. The cash transfers allow families to choose their own purchases and while injecting money into the local economy.
Photo caption: Ms. Susana Rico, Officer in Charge of World Food Programme in Sri Lanka and Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance in Sri Lanka
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.
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For more information please contact:
Sadhana Mohan, WFP/Colombo, Tel. +94 (0)11 255 5520 (ext ) 2460, firstname.lastname@example.org