Malnutrition stokes little Krishanthi

as Sri Lanka grapples with a severe economic crisis

UNICEF Sri Lanka
UNICEF Sri Lanka
07 July 2022

Logeswary, a 40-year-old mother from the village of Shanthapuram, Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka is extremely worried about how she can continue to put food on the table to feed her four children. The family depends on her husband’s income of 3000lkr (about U$ 8.5 dollars) per week from his job as a part-time grass cutter at a nearby farm. 

Their two-year-old daughter, Krishanthi, is suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and their 9-month-old baby Debora, is also at risk of malnutrition. Little Krishanthi does not have access to much-needed therapeutic food which could help improve her condition. 

According to public health staff, about 66 children out of 330 children under five, from the same village are malnourished, of which 26 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. With the ongoing challenges, their situation will worsen. 

With soaring food prices, 70 percent of households are now reporting reduced food consumption, and the fuel crisis and frequent power cuts are hindering vital services for children, including healthcare and education.  

As part of its appeal for children, UNICEF plans to: 

  • Treat 56,000 children for severe acute malnutrition.  
  • Provide 122,000 pregnant mothers with cash or voucher assistance to afford a nutritious diet.  

With more than 50 years of field presence in Sri Lanka and a network of partners across the country, UNICEF is leading efforts on the ground to save lives and ensure children are spared the most devastating impacts of the crisis.