WFP executive director to visit Sri Lanka amid food crisis

Author: Nishu June 11, 2022

WFP executive director to visit Sri Lanka amid food crisis

United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley will visit Sri Lanka after accepting the invitation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley will visit Sri Lanka after accepting the invitation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Top UN World Food Program (WFP) officials are planning to visit Sri Lanka at the invitation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a time when the beleaguered island nation is grappling with imminent food shortages.

The prime minister’s request comes after experts warned of a possible shortage of rice and other essential food items from September this year, due to the impact after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa imposed a ban on fertilizers in April last year. Reason and inability to import amid severe shortage of dollar.

Before the fertilizer ban Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in rice production.

Mr Wickremesinghe said he spoke to UN WFP Executive Director David Beasley on 10 June and invited him to visit Sri Lanka. “They accepted my invitation and are planning to come soon. We appreciate all the support extended to us by WFP,” Mr Wickremesinghe tweeted on 10 June.

On 10 June, the United Nations appealed for $47.2 million to provide life-saving assistance to beleaguered Sri Lanka, after it noted that the support of credit lines from India and other countries would be short of medicines and surgical consumables in the medium term. I will decrease. partners.

The United Nations team and non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka on 9 June launched the Joint Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan, which includes $47.2 million to provide life-saving assistance to the 1.7 million people badly hit by the economic crisis in Sri Lanka over the past four years. was demanded. The period between June and September.

Additionally, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also planning to send a personal mission to Sri Lanka in the coming weeks for a policy discussion on the financial system, its spokesperson has said but stressed that the country needs to restore debt. steps need to be taken before global lenders can move forward on a financing programme.

“Obviously Sri Lanka is facing a very difficult economic situation and serious balance of payments problems. “We are deeply concerned about the impact of the ongoing crisis, especially humanitarian concern, which is having an impact on people,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said at a briefing on 9 June.

Meanwhile, India has also provided a $55 million line of credit to Sri Lanka for import of fertilizers to help the island nation deal with its food shortage, the Indian High Commission said on June 10.

Earlier this month, Mr Wickremesinghe met senior officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as well as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and briefed them on the situation in the country.

The Prime Minister expressed regret that the shortage of fertilizers and fuel are the two biggest constraints facing the country’s agriculture sector.

Addressing parliament on June 7, Mr Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka would need $5 billion to ensure that people’s daily lives are not disrupted for the next six months.

The nearly bankrupt country, coupled with an acute foreign exchange crisis that resulted in foreign debt defaults, announced in April that it would suspend foreign debt repayments of about $7 billion for this year out of about $25 billion due by 2026. Used to be.

Sri Lanka’s total external debt is $51 billion.

In May, the IMF said it needed adequate assurance from the country that it would restore debt stability during the debt restructuring process.

The economic crisis has prompted severe shortages of essential items such as food, medicine, cooking gas and other fuels, toilet paper and even matches, with Sri Lankans outside shops to buy fuel and cooking gas for months. Forced to wait for hours.

11 June, 2022, 6:10 pm

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