[Mother and a child in Vanni, 2009 photo]
A large number of women and children in Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts in the North are badly affected due to malnutrition. During the times of war, 36.6 percent of women and children were suffering due to malnutrition, but after the end of the war the situation has worsened to 40.9 percent in Ki’linochchi district, Ms Rosy Senanayake, a UNP parliamentarian told the Sri Lankan Parliament on Tuesday. In the upcountry, 41 percent of pregnant mothers are suffering from malnutrition due to poverty and non-availability of health facilities.
32.9 % of women and children suffered from malnutrition during the war in Mullaiththeevu district and it has increased to 35.6% after the end of the war, Rosy Senanayake said during the committee stage of the budget. In the meantime, Tamil medical sources in Ki’linochchi said no action has been taken even after they had alerted the SL government officials, UN agencies and the NGOs. “Even to the SL opposition, our plight is only visible when they seek Tamil votes,” they said.
The situation has worsened after the UN agencies have closed down most of their humanitarian field offices and international NGOs have wound up their activities in the North and East, the medical sources further said.