Food Security And Livelihoods Have Been Severely Hit

Food security and livelihoods have been severely hit in Sri Lanka, specialists say, after heavy rains caused widespread flooding and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes, left 43 people dead, and damaged or destroyed close to 30,000 homes. According to the UN, agricultural production is the main source of livelihood in the affected area and this season’s rice harvest has been badly damaged, leading to increased food insecurity.The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates about 500,000 residents are food-insecure. In the worst affected districts of Ampara, Batticaloa, and Trincomalee in Eastern Province, heavy rains between 8 and 12 January left more than 101,171 hectares of paddy fields damaged, of which more than 81,000ha suffered moderate to severe damage.The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates a loss of about 450,000 tons or US$120 million.