By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over a substantial consignment of 4,700 Metric Tonnes of soya beans and maize to Sri Lanka Thriposha Limited, to support the continuation of the Thriposha fortified food programme.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) facilitated the handover at a special event held at the Thriposha factory.
This consignment forms part of a wider contribution of USD20 million from the United States towards WFP’s emergency operation to support Sri Lankan communities impacted by the country’s economic crisis.
As a significant contributor locally and globally, the US has enabled WFP to provide cash, food assistance and value vouchers to food-insecure Sri Lankan families, while supporting national food and nutrition programmes, including school meals and Thriposha- a fortified blended food product, the WFP said in a statement.
“The U.S. Agency for International Development 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 of Sri Lankan children,” states Asta Zinbo, Director of the Office of Governance and Vulnerable Populations, USAID.
“The country’s economic crisis, with lost jobs, reduced incomes, and soaring costs of living, has affected people’s ability to access healthy meals. Vulnerable groups, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children, are at elevated risk of malnutrition, the statement added.
“Of all of the groups affected by the country’s economic crisis, it is the children and women we are worried about the most,” says Gerard Rebello, Deputy Country Director of WFP, Sri Lanka.
“We are grateful for the generosity and support from the United States in assisting these vulnerable groups, so they receive critical nutrition at a time when they need it the most.
WFP’s support to the Thriposha programme is an integral part of our emergency operation to safeguard development progress and mitigate the long-term effects of the economic crisis.”
Thriposha is used to supplement a regular diet with essential nutrition and is provided free of charge through the national nutritional programme.
The US-funded raw materials will be used to provide four rounds of Thriposha for over half a million pregnant and breastfeeding women, and undernourished children under five, it added.
WFP, with funding from donors like the US, has reached over 3.8 million people with food and nutrition assistance since June 2022 through its emergency operation, including those who received support through multiple activities, according to the WFP.