26 February 2020

Assessing Public Financing for Nutrition in Sri Lanka

For decades, Sri Lanka’s health system has been known globally as one of the best performing in the world, having achieved ‘good health at low cost’. Life expectancy at birth, which stood at 75 years as of 2016, was higher than the South Asian average of 69 years. In terms of maternal and child health (MCH) indicators, Sri Lanka’s neonatal, infant, and under-five mortality rates in 2018 were 6.5, 9.1, and 10.6 per 1,000 live births (LB), respectively, and the maternal mortality ratio was 39.3 per 100,000 LB in 2017. Nonetheless, issues remain. Undernutrition is one such unfinished agenda that has not improved over the last decade. Stunting rate, which reflects chronic undernutrition in early life, remained unchanged at 17.3 percent between 2006 and 2016, neither did the rate of wasting change significantly. Particularly, the current wasting rate of 15.1 percent among children under five is considered ‘very high’ in the World Health Organization (WHO) benchmark. Undernutrition is the single dominant risk factor of burden of disease for children under five in Sri Lanka. In addition, there is a growing concern over the threat of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The share of NCDs in aggregate disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) increased from 53 percent in 1990 to 77 percent in 2017, and the total DALYs from NCDs have increased by 36 percent. It is well regarded that overweight and obesity are critical risk factors for NCDs, and hence the country is in the midst of double burden of malnutrition.
18 December 2018


UNICEF’s work in Sri Lanka would not be possible without the support of partners and donors, whose funding has helped drive achievements in child survival and development, education, protection, nutrition, social cohesion and emergency response for every child. As UNICEF embarks on its new country program (2018-2022), this support will remain…, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UNICEF Sri Lanka and DFAT The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have enjoyed a long-term strategic partnership that has supported real improvements in Nutrition, Education and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).  DFAT has provided both humanitarian and regular funding that has enabled UNICEF to responding in a timely and…, European Union, The European Union (EU) has been a valuable strategic partner to UNICEF in Sri Lanka.  During times of humanitarian crisis, the EU has provided essential emergency funds through its humanitarian arm, the ECHO European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).  EU funding has also been pivotal in the post-conflict era in resourcing…, Korean International Corporation Agency, UNICEF’s longstanding partnership with the KOICA Korean International Corporation Agency (KOICA) focuses on education, with multi-year funding aimed at improving access to and the quality of education in targeted schools in Ampara, Batticaloa and Killinochchi in the North and East of Sri Lanka. KOICA’s support has made essential contributions to…