• 4,200 vulnerable households to receive multi-purpose cash assistance
• 840 households supported with protection support
• Food security, health, and protection of children and women paramount during beneficiary selection.
More than 5,000 households in Sri Lanka who are most affected by the current economic crisis will receive cash assistance and protection support to meet their immediate life-saving and protection needs through a new project funded by the European Union. The seven-month project, which began in December 2022, will cover Vavuniya and Kilinochchi (Northern Province), Nuwaraeliya and Badulla (Central Province) and Colombo and Gampaha (Western Province), and is implemented by World Vision Lanka working in consortia with Acted and Save the Children.
This project, titled Immediate Lifesaving and Protection Support to the Most Vulnerable Affected by the Sri Lankan Economic Crisis Project – also known as the Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Response Project – will start with household-based needs assessment to identify the most vulnerable families in need. The assessment considers how the crisis has affected their food availability, health, protection, education and livelihoods, to help understand the expenditure basket and to match the cash assistance accordingly. In addition to providing cash assistance, the project will further work towards strengthening the capacity of local government officials to help them monitor protection risks and impacts from cash-oriented interventions, and pass on their knowledge and experiences to communities.
“This project is implemented at a most needed hour considering not just the food security the economically most vulnerable families have started to struggle with, but also the overall impact of the crisis on them, such as how much they have had to compromise on safety, medicines, education of children and livelihoods.” says Iruthayam Michael the Project Lead for World Vision Lanka.
The project will select 4,200 households, to benefit over 60,000 individuals, for multi-purpose cash assistance. An additional 840 households at risk of immediate harm will also receive cash for protection support, and be monitored by steering committees that include local government authorities as well as community-based organizations, women groups and child representatives. This assistance aims to help and prevent these families from protection concerns that negatively impact their well-being.
Cash assistance is proven to be a form of effective, immediate life-saving assistance in emergencies, as opposed to distributing food and essential items to households, as it empowers families to make decisions to meet their critical needs, as they define and prioritize them, while investing in their children’s well-being. This approach also promotes inclusion of unbanked persons, especially women, supporting them to access financial services.
The country’s worst economic turmoil since its independence has shattered all walks of life calling for viable immediate humanitarian assistance before it upends the lives of thousands of Sri Lankans falling into intergenerational poverty in the long term.