France has contributed €500,000 through UNICEF to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to prevent and treat malnutrition among children in the country.

The contribution enables UNICEF, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, to provide children under two years of age with the required nutrition services. Parents and caregivers will also be educated on the correct practices to prevent and treat acute malnutrition and ensure the healthy growth and development of their children.

Malnutrition, if not urgently treated can kill, or damage a child’s physical and cognitive development, especially during the first two years of a child’s life, but often also negatively affect opportunities for the rest of their lives.

Hardships brought about by Sri Lanka’s economic situation continue to stalk families, especially the poor and most vulnerable households. Access to a regular and adequate nutritious diet remains out of reach for many young children and their families, putting them at risk of malnutrition.

This contribution enables UNICEF and its partners to among others:

  • Treat 1,500 children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition through provision of therapeutic food.
  • Provide 120,000 children between 6-23 months with micronutrients to address deficiencies and prevent malnutrition.
  • 200,000 parents/caretakers reached with accurate information on proper practices to prevent and treat malnutrition among their children.

“Contributions such as this from France boost our joint efforts to scale up our ongoing response to children in urgent need of treatment for malnutrition as well as help undertake prevention measures”, said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative. “Every contribution represents a chance for a child to grow up healthy and develop to the productive citizen that Sri Lanka needs”.

UNICEF has remained agile in its work to address the needs of children in Sri Lanka and ensuring that the most vulnerable and their families are cushioned from the worst effects of poverty, COVID-19 and now the economic difficulties.

“The Government of France has a long-standing partnership with Sri Lanka and this contribution through UNICEF is just one demonstration of our shared vision for children and the people of Sri Lanka”, said Jean-François PACTET, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

This contribution is in line with France’s International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture (2019-2024) and its commitment to the “Nutrition for Growth” (N4G) initiative, to ensure healthy, nutritional and sufficient food for all and enable populations to regain their food autonomy. France will host the next N4G Summit in 2024 and is hoping to bring together the main nutrition players for ambitious commitments to combat malnutrition.