Food security in northern Sri Lanka remains fragile

Food security in northern Sri Lanka remains fragile, according to preliminary findings by the World Food Programme (WFP). Of 1,755 households surveyed in five districts - including Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Killinochi and Mannar - the majority spend more than 65 percent of their income on food.

Although dietary intake of returnees was remarkably good, maintaining that over time will prove difficult given low income levels, a slower-than-expected livelihood recovery and widespread asset and livestock depletion, the agency said.

The emergency food security and nutrition study was conducted from 7 October to 5 November by WFP with the Medical Research Institute and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). A similar study was undertaken in March 2010.

More than 300,000 conflict-displaced have resettled in the north following the defeat in May 2009 of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland for almost 30 years.