Govt. seeks UNWFP assistance to reduce post-harvest loss
January 22, 2020 11:28 pm
Visiting Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Manoj Juneja paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday (21) at the Office of the Leader of the House of the Parliament.
Welcoming the visiting Assistant Executive Director, Minister Gunawardena appreciated the World Food Programme’s close cooperation with Sri Lanka and recalled assistance rendered in times of need, especially during the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and during severe droughts.
The Assistant Executive Director noted that the World Food Programme has progressed from regular operational assistance to cooperation with the Government in the latter’s endeavors towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals, especially food security and nutrition. He referred to the ongoing WFP projects such as the provision of nutritious meals for school children, the introduction of good practices for diversification of diet and rice fortification.
The Assistant Executive Director stated that improvement of labor and skills to build resilience of communities to face the impact of climate change, assistance for well-irrigation facilities and watershed management is required to prepare the vulnerable communities for climate shock and pointed out that these WFP initiatives are in line with Sri Lanka’s National Policy Framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.
Foreign Minister Gunawardena underscored that the Government is fully committed to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals, in close collaboration with international partners, as it did with the Millennium Development Goals.
He also mentioned that in line with the environment policy of the President, the National Tree Planting Programme was launched this year to increase the forest cover which will help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Minister Gunawardena requested the WFP to assist in improving storage facilities to reduce the post-harvest loss.
Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme in Colombo Brenda Barton accompanied the WFP Assist Executive Director to the meeting. Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development were also present.