Food shortage looms in Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 February 2007, 02:15 GMT]
The supply of essential food items has once again reached low levels in the north prompting K.Ganesh, Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna to announce new measures to deal with the situation to avert a serious crisis, sources in Jaffna said. At a special meeting held on Sunday at the Jaffna secretariat the GA issued instructions to the secretaries of the various regions to formulate plans regarding distribution of food items to the public in their administrative areas based on the availability of the various food items.

After the closure of land route since Aug11, transport of food items was handled by cargo ships. However, after the January 21 attack on the ship 'City of Liverpool,' which brought wheat flour to Point Pedro harbour from Trincomalee, the damaged ship was taken to Kankesanthurai harbour for unloading, seriously affecting the distribution of essential items within the peninsula.

The stock of wheat flour at the Jaffna Secretariat had reached very low levels while shipment of flour into the peninsula has been completely suspended for the past two weeks, officials close to flour distribution in Jaffna Secretariat said.

Bread production in the peninsula has been reduced by 40% because the amount of wheat flour issued to them by the Jaffna District Secretariat has been temporarily limited, the bakery owners said. With most families in the peninsula consuming bread at least for one meal, any disruption to baking bread will affect all layers of the Jaffna society, civil sources in Jaffna said.

GA, however, has assured of adequate supply of flour arriving within the next few weeks.


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