Sri Lanka, 4 million people suffer from hunger. A "Food Justice Campaign”
by Melani Manel Perera
It's called "Grow" and is sponsored by humanitarian group Oxfam International. Pregnant women and children are the most malnourished groups. One in 5 children born underweight. Approximately 500 thousand children under 5 years are underweight.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – From a population of 20.2 million people, about 4 million Sri Lankans are undernourished. Children and pregnant women are most affected. At least one child in five is born underweight and about 500 thousand children under 5 years are underweight. To eradicate the problem of malnutrition and reverse this negative trend, the humanitarian organization Oxfam has launched "Grow", a "food justice campaign" aimed at creating a more equitable food system and a country without hunger. The initiative was presented at a forum on "Global Food Crisis: Opportunities and Challenges in Sri Lanka" held last October 18 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo.
"Grow - says Snadun Thudugala, Oxfam's campaign coordinator in Sri Lanka - will support the efforts of women, men, communities and governments to build a future that will protect people's lives, giving priority to small food producers."
Commenting on the figures on malnutrition in Sri Lanka, Thudugala calls the situation "unacceptable" for a country "blessed with all the natural resources needed for food production. Sri Lanka has the potential to build a sustainable food system and can become a model for the rest of the world. "
In particular, for small producers Grow is demanding food security, investments in agriculture and fishing, the right to use land, water, seeds and other resources, support of government authorities. Finally, it is calling on the government to revise, change and improve the regulations on food production.
Oxfam International is a confederation of humanitarian organizations, working at local and national level to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.