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Sri Lankan PM states food crisis will impact 5 million people

The Prime minister has noted that the food crisis could directly affect four to five million people in the near future.

During a meeting of the Committee on Food Security, Wickremesinghe stated that MP's would be asked to take charge of food security programmes in their respective divisions. The Prime minister also appointed Parliamentarian Nimal Lansa to look into mitigation efforts to address the food crisis and has asked for a plan to be drafted in two weeks. 

The Prime Minister added that the 225 divisions should be handed over to the Members of Parliament and the rest to the top officials including the Secretaries to the Ministries and the Private Sector to provide leadership to develop and reach the targets of 336 Divisional Secretariats in the country under the Food Security Programme.

Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic crisis in decades which has left the island reeling due to shortages in essential items such as food, medicine and fuel. In recent weeks David Beasley, The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has accepted an invitation from the Prime Minister to visit the island. The government has also sought assistance from international donors and applied for food bank assistance from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Following this, the government has announced that the Sri Lankan army will be undertaking a "gigantic project of national and timely importance" and will be sending soldiers to farm fruit and vegetables across the island. 

According to an official military press release, the army will farm “1,500 acres of barren or abandoned state lands” but it did not identify where these areas were located.

Tamils in the North-East have for decades attempted to fight back against Sri Lankan military land grabs, with the security forces continuing to occupy vast swathes of land in the North-East.

Read more at the Daily Mirror

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