Sri Lanka Multi-Dimensional Crisis Situation Report No. 6 (September 30, 2022) – Sri Lanka

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This report is prepared by the OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) on behalf of the ISCG. The updates below cover activities conducted between September 10 and September 23 and provide an overview of response activities to meet the needs identified in the Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) Plan.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that acute food insecurity currently affects more than a third of the population, or 37 percent. This is according to the results of a recent WFP remote household food security survey, which shows a slight deterioration from the previously conducted Crop and Food Security Assessment (CFSAM).

  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional US$20 million in humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka.

  • The $2.9 billion expanded fund facility is pending approval by IMF management and the Executive Board.

  • The EU and the UK have released humanitarian aid funds of €1.5 million and £3 million respectively.

  • The American NGO HOPE Worldwide made a donation in kind for medical material worth 2.7 million US dollars possible.

  • Iran and Sri Lanka have held talks to supply fertilizer to Sri Lanka, with no outcome yet clear.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Sri Lanka continues to experience an unprecedented economic crisis with high inflation, rising commodity prices, energy shortages and fuel shortages. The crisis is exacerbated by a serious drop in agricultural production. In connection with the shortage of many food, fuel, medicines and other essential goods, protests broke out in March 2022, which became mass protests in April and July 2022. On July 13th the President of Sri Lanka left the country and the Prime Minister declared a temporary state of emergency in his capacity as acting President. The President resigned a few days later and on July 21 the Prime Minister was elected President by a parliamentary vote. Since then, the protests have decreased in frequency and scope. The former President returned to Sri Lanka on September 3rd.

Asia’s highest inflation rates and persistent fuel shortages continue to threaten Sri Lanka’s food security. Colombo’s consumer price index hit 64.3 percent for the year ended August 2022, partly due to food inflation at 93.7 percent. Leading indicators show that agricultural production has fallen by 40 percent compared to the 2020 Yala season and food prices continue to rise due to high fuel prices, shortages of fertilizers and animal feed. For the upcoming Maha season, it is difficult to predict what the outcome will be, mainly due to the limited availability and high cost of fertilizers and pesticides, and ongoing fuel shortages. According to the World Food Program (WFP), more than a third of the population (37 percent) currently faces moderate acute food insecurity, and around eight in ten households regularly resort to nutrition-based coping strategies. Households headed by women are considered particularly hard, as are the urban poor and people working in the real estate sector.

Given the deteriorating food security and nutritional situation in Sri Lanka and the high likelihood that the upcoming Maha season will not produce sufficient yields, several countries have pledged further assistance, particularly to improve food security and critical inputs for the agricultural sector. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power announced an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing USAID’s total assistance to nearly $92 million as of June this year. The UK has pledged £3m in life-saving aid, mainly used for food security and farmer support, while the EU is providing €1.5m in humanitarian aid, mainly used for multipurpose cash assistance .

The final agreement on the $2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pending approval by IMF management and the Executive Board.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.
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