People in Sri Lanka have been struggling with daily power cuts, inflation of more than 50 per cent, and shortages of basics, such as fuel, food, and medicines. These crises led to widespread protests in the country in July, with the President fleeing to the Maldives last month.
Philanthropies and charitable organisations have been stepping up to meet the need in Sri Lanka. The UN World Food Programme launched an emergency response in Sri Lanka to provide food, cash, and voucher assistance to three million. The monthly vouchers will enable more than 2,000 women to buy much-needed food and are delivered alongside antenatal care provided by the Public Health Division of the Colombo Municipal Council.
The Thaagam Foundation, based in Chennai, India, has launched a programme to distribute dry rations and home-cooked meals among families that have lost their homes in Sri Lanka. Thaagam has been running programmes similar to this in India since 2018, playing a significant role in responding to needs during the worst of the pandemic in India. The foundation’s efforts in Sri Lanka are alongside CAF and the Sevalanka Foundation.
Over the next several months, the country will need $47 million to respond to the most urgent needs arising from the recent crisis, according to the UN team in Sri Lanka. These funds will be ‘life-saving’, say the Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan, and will focus specifically on health care, essential medicines, food and agriculture, safe drinking water, and emergency livelihoods and protection.