US supports food and nutrition aid in Sri Lanka

US supports food and nutrition aid in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has handed over a substantial shipment of 4,700 metric tons of soybeans and maize to Sri Lanka Thriposha Limited to support the continuation of the Thriposha Fortified Food Program. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) facilitated the handover at a special event held at the Thriposha factory.

The shipment is part of a broader US contribution of $20 million to the United Nations World Food Program’s emergency operation to support Sri Lankan communities affected by the country’s economic crisis. As a major local and global contributor, the United States has enabled the UN World Food Program to provide cash, food aid, and valuable vouchers to food-insecure Sri Lankan families while supporting national food and nutrition programs, including school meals and Thriposha, a fortified mixed food product.

“USAID is pleased to deepen our long partnership with Sri Lanka through our recent emergency funding to provide essential ingredients for the Thriposha blended food supplement to prevent malnutrition among Sri Lankan children,” says the director of the Office of Governance and Threats. Population for USAID Asta Zinbo. “In response to last year’s crisis, we saw the delivery of the last shipment of maize and soybeans to the Thriposha factory in close collaboration with our partners the UN World Food Programme, the Ministry of Health and the Sri Lankan government. USAID supported Thriposh at its inception in 1973 and it is wonderful to see our collective efforts continue to protect the future of countless children and mothers in Sri Lanka today.”

The country’s economic crisis, with job losses, reduced incomes and skyrocketing living costs, has affected people’s ability to access healthy food. Vulnerable groups, including pregnant and lactating women and young children, are at increased risk of malnutrition.

“Of all the groups affected by the country’s economic crisis, we are most concerned about children and women,” says Gerard Rebello, deputy director of the UN World Food Program in Sri Lanka. “We are grateful for the generosity and support of the United States in helping these vulnerable groups, so they receive critical nutrition when they need it most. The support of the Thriposha program by the UN World Food Program is an integral part of our emergency operation to ensure development progress and mitigate the long-term effects of the economic crisis.”

Thriposha is used to supplement the regular diet with basic nutrition and is provided free of charge through the National Nutrition Programme. The US-funded raw materials will be used to provide four rounds of Thriposha to more than half a million pregnant and lactating women and malnourished children under the age of five.

With funding from donors such as the US, the UN World Food Program has reached more than 3.8 million people with food and nutrition assistance since June 2022 through its emergency operation, including those supported through various activities.

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The UN World Food Program is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization that saves lives in emergencies and uses food aid to build a path to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disaster and impact climate change.

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