Country Nutrition Situation

According to the Global Nutrition Report, Sri Lanka is on-course to achieve just one of its nutrition targets, in the number of infants exclusively breast-fed during the first five months of their lives (at 82%). That being said, the country has shown some progress in two other areas: the number of under-fives experiencing stunting (17.3%) and the amount of infants being born at a low weight (15.9%). In its other targets, however, Sri Lanka indicates little-to-no progress. Fifteen percent of under-fives are affected by wasting – almost double the average for the Asia region – while 17% are impacted by stunting. The number of women of reproductive age experiencing anaemia also remains high at 32.6%, and the amount of adults impacted by obesity or diabetes sits at 10% and 15% respectively.


Farzana Khan

Consultant/Regional SBN Coordinator and Advisor World Food Programme (WFP)

Governance structure

SBN Sri Lanka is in the process of transitioning to a new governance structure with a more long-term sustainable model. This will see the formation of the Federation of Chambers and Industries and Commerce of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), which will be overseen by a seven-member Board – consisting of four private sector actors, a Representative from the Chambers, a Representative from WFP, and a Representative from the SUN Civil Society Network (CSO). With a Co-ordinator based at the FCCISL, the Board will meet every two months and oversee and instruct SBN Sri Lanka’s activities, along with oversight from WFP.

What is SBN doing in Srilanka

In Sri Lanka, the SBN’s overarching aim is to bring together, assess and advocate the private sector with regards to nutrition and nutrition-led initiatives – with a goal of reaching 60 members, comprising actors at both national and sub-national levels, in the next two years.
In light of this expansion, SBN Sri Lanka has four focal points of activity:

Enhancing workplace health and nutrition. Educating employers on the importance of good nutrition; helping them access healthy foods for their staff; and encouraging commitments from companies to make this a priority.

Producing nutritious food products. Supporting the fortification of foods to improve their nutrient value; pursuing new initiatives; and championing national policies and standards.

Promoting nutritious foods. Increasing awareness of, and subsequently demand for, nutritious foods; seeking new opportunities to educate consumers on making healthy choices; and supporting communication strategies.

Helping small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow. Providing guidance and support in areas such as finance, digitisation, and marketing, to assist these businesses in their development and enhance their impact in the wider nutritious food chain.

Year of Action

Member state food system dialogues to support this are currently underway, with the first – “Identifying challenges to build sustainable food systems in Sri Lanka” – held on 16 June 2021.