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Northern Province assistance faces over $200 million shortfall - UN

The Joint Plan of Assistance, a program which includes the Sri Lankan Government and the UN is facing a deficit of over $200 million according to a UN report.

Of the $289 million needed, only $76.5 million had been raised so far, with further indications from UN officials that the full amount would not be met by the end of this year.

See report from IRIN here.

Speaking to IRIN, a UN World Food Programme (WFP) official said,

"Over 60 percent of households in the Northern Province are food-insecure, and lack the income generation and food-production capacity to secure basic needs."

The WFP also found that half the households in the Northern Province live on less than $1 a day, despite the fact that the World Bank reclassified Sri Lanka as a middle-income country in 2010.

Andre Krummacher of the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development said,

"People ask why they should help a middle-income country; what they fail to see is that there are large pockets of poverty here."

He went on to say,

"The reality is that there is food, but it is very expensive, people don't have the income to buy it."

"Soon we will see more unless the tide changes."

See our earlier posts:

'On Sri Lanka’s ‘development’ in the Northeast'  (Aug 2011)

 '44 million extremely poor suffer as food prices soar'  (Feb 2011)