Sri Lanka’s children face malnutrition

Photo by UN News.

More and more children in Sri Lanka face malnutrition as the country’s economic crisis is spiralling out of control. Now, government agencies along with UN agencies are seeking donations for the island nation’s children.

Sri Lanka’s Ministry for Women and Child Affairs is seeking private donations to feed possibly several hundred thousand children. The ministry’s secretary, Neil Hapuhinne, said that out of the 570,000 children under 5 years old in Sri Lanka, the ministry had counted 127,000 malnourished children in 2021.

UNICEF has also issued an appeal for funding, saying that children in Sri Lanka were disproportionately affected by the severe economic crisis.

Hapuhinne said that over 90% of Sri Lankans are now relying on government handouts. This includes 1.6 million government employees. He said the number of handouts has nearly doubled in the past year.

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Sri Lanka plunged into chaos in April, after the country experienced a 13-hour power blackout, its longest blackout ever recorded. Since then, the country has been unable to pay for fuel, medicine, and other necessary items.

Doctors and nurses say they are struggling to find enough fuel to get to work, even though they are designated, essential workers. On top of this, the island nation is suffering power cuts and shortages of food and medicines.

Last month, Sri Lanka’s president fled the country after over 100,000 protestors stormed the presidential palace, demanding that he and the country’s PM resign. Sri Lanka’s parliament then elected former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s new president. But protesters view Ranil as part of the same regime as that of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.