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Batticaloa children face food crisis

After the worst floods in almost a century,

“The average ten-year-old in eastern Sri Lanka has lived through conflict, the tsunami and now risks facing a food crisis in the coming weeks.

“Many families in affected areas are facing a nightmare scenario in which both their food source and their livelihoods have been washed away. They need help to survive until the next harvest. It may not have been possible to prevent the floods, but we can avoid a food crisis if help is given to families now.

It is absolutely essential that the world does not wait until these children are starving to act.

- Gareth Owen, Save the Children's emergencies director.

"In Batticaloa, almost all villages have been affected by the floods. The impact is huge. It is not just the agricultural crop, but many poor families here depend on cash for labour work in the paddy fields.

"In three to six months time, if those families do not have a regular income, then you then get children dropping out of school and they may be forced into child labour."

- Mark Patterson, Save the Children's co-ordinator for the eastern region.

See the report by The Guardian here.

To donate to Save the Children's Sri Lanka appeal, please visit: savethechildren.org.uk/donate/srilanka/

To donate to the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) Sri Lanka appeal, please visit: unicef.org.uk/Latest/News/Sri-Lanka-appeal/

Photo UNICEF

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