UNICEF appeals for $25 million to meet the urgent needs of 1.7 million children affected by the economic crisis in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO/KATHMANDU/GENEVA, JUNE 10, 2022 – The debilitating crisis in Sri Lanka has left nearly half of the country’s children in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

The UN has launched an appeal to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable population in the next four months. To scale up the response to the growing needs of children over the next seven months, UNICEF is today appealing for $25.3 million to save lives and provide nutrition, health care, drinking water, education and mental health to 1.7 million vulnerable children in Sri Lanka.

“The current crisis is pushing families to their limits,” said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka. “Children go to bed distressed and fasting. Many children do not attend school regularly and hospitals are rapidly running out of medicines, including for children and pregnant women. If we don’t act now, the most vulnerable boys and girls will pay the highest price for a crisis not of their making.

Even before the current crisis, Sri Lanka had the second highest child malnutrition rate in South Asia, and 2 out of 5 infants were not receiving the minimum acceptable diet. With food prices soaring, 70% of households are now reporting reduced food consumption, and the fuel crisis and frequent power cuts are hampering vital services for children, including healthcare and education . Access to clean water for drinking and domestic use is declining, posing an increased risk of waterborne diseases

“The current crisis is having a disproportionate impact on Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable boys and girls, who were already facing the toxic combination of poverty, COVID-19 and recurrent climate-related disasters,” said Mr. .Skoog. “UNICEF urges donors to support the children of Sri Lanka through its humanitarian appeal. Together, we can ensure that the steady gains for children made by Sri Lanka over many years are not permanently reversed. »

As part of his appeal for children, UNICEF plans to:

  • Treat 56,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
  • Ensure that 100,000 young children benefit from school feeding programmes.
  • Ensure that 1.2 million people have access to primary health care in UNICEF-supported facilities.
  • Provide 1.5 million people with safe water for drinking and domestic needs.
  • Provide 2,500 girls and women with menstrual hygiene management services
  • Provide mental health services and psychosocial support to 984,000 children and parents/guardians.
  • Ensure that 665,700 children have access to formal or non-formal education, including early learning.
  • Provide 122,000 pregnant women with cash or voucher assistance to afford nutritious food.

With over 50 years of field presence in Sri Lanka and a network of partners across the country, UNICEF leads efforts on the ground to save lives and ensure children are spared the most devastating effects. of the crisis.

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