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Sri Lanka: Petrol reserves insufficient to meet needs

The World Food Programme said that the remaining petrol reserves in Sri Lanka are likely to be insufficient to meet the needs of people.


Sri Lanka remaining petrol reserves are likely to be insufficient to meet the needs of people, according to the World Food Programme.

The situation has affected almost every facet of everyday life, limiting people’s ability to find and go to work and disrupting public schools and government facilities for the next 12 months because of a substantial fuel shortage.6.3 million Sri Lankans will no longer be able to afford the next meal, according to the WFP. And 6.7 million people aren’t eating healthy diets.

“Remaining petrol reserves will likely be insufficient to meet normal needs. The situation has impacted almost all aspects of daily life, thwarting people’s ability to find and go to work and interrupting schools and government services,” WFP said as quoted by Colombo Gazette.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government has announced the restrictions for the next 12 months as it faces a severe fuel supply shortage.

As per the latest update, the WFP said that 6.3 million Sri Lankan people won’t be able to afford the next meal and the food situation is likely to deteriorate as the crisis unfolds. And 6.7 million people are not consuming acceptable diets.

“3.4 million people are planned to be targeted by WFP to receive emergency food, nutrition, and school meals,” the WFP said.

And WFP believes that the main reason behind the lack of nutrition in adults is the high cost of food items and consumer goods. As the prices are high, people turned to buying smaller quantities and undertaking more frequent market visits, reported Colombo Gazette.

Food imports are down to USD 50 million per month, from USD 130 million previously, and nutritious food such as vegetables now costs two to five times its pre-crisis price.

To detect and monitor changes in market functionality amid the crisis, WFP is launching its Market Functionality Index (MFI) in Sri Lanka.

The MFI is a tool that helps to better understand and assess the changes in market conditions to inform the design of humanitarian interventions.

The economic crisis has particularly impacted food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health services. Food production in the last harvest season was 40 – 50 per cent lower than last year, and the current agricultural season is at risk, with seeds, fertilizers, fuel and credit shortages.

The instruction was given at a meeting to address the fuel crisis in the country, as schools will be reopened after several weeks of closure due to fuel shortages.

Sri Lanka has been facing crippling fuel shortages since February. In late June, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) suspended distributing fuel for private vehicles.

CPC announced to start fuel distribution from July 21, following the arrival of petrol and diesel shipments.

Moreover, the Mobile Fuel Dispensers will be used as a Pilot project to fuel three-wheelers & generator requirements, Sri Lankan Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera announced.

The economic crisis which is the worst in Sri Lanka’s history has prompted an acute shortage of essential items like fuel. Long queues at fuel stations in Sri Lanka are the new normal and prices fluctuate subject to availability.

Hundreds of Sri Lankans continue to queue up at petrol pumps across the debt-ridden country every day amid fuel shortage, and a large number of people are ditching their cars and motorcycles for bicycles for their daily commute.

Skyrocketing prices of fuel are also one of the reasons behind the spike in bicycle sales and some stores are running out of stock.

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