The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Australian government are supporting the government of Sri Lanka with take-home rations for children covered by the National School Meal Programme. Funds worth US$ 400,000 (LKR 74 million) contributed by the Australian government through the WFP were provided to Sri Lanka’s ministry of education to procure and distribute food rations.
Brenda Barton, country director at the WFP, says some 80 000 children who could no longer have their school meals due to school closures are covered under the first stage of the distribution. She says each pack consists of eggs, lentils and other dry commodities specified by the ministry of Sri Lanka to ensure diet diversity for children and their families and the take-home food rations are part of the WFP’s response to meet food and nutrition needs of children.
The launch ceremony for the distribution of the ration packs for targeted schools was held on 15 July at the Sri Siddhartha Maha Vidyalaya in Kalapaluwawa, Rajagiriya. The inaugural event was conducted by N.H.M Chitrananda, secretary of the ministry of education for Sri Lanka, and the Badrani Jayawardena, secretary of internal trade, food security and consumer welfare for Sri Lanka, together with Brenda Barton, country director at the WFP.