Galle, a city in the southwest of Sri Lanka, is the capital of the Southern Province. It has around 90,000 inhabitants, making it one of the ten biggest cities in Sri Lanka.
The city was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, killing thousands of people.
Undernutrition and poverty are two problems Galle still struggles with every single day. However, slowly but surely, the city is finding its balance again, amidst more recent economic crises and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Since 1990, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Galle.
During the civil war between 1983 and 2009, food supplies were scarce or simply non-existent. Although the situation has improved, many parents in Galle struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children.
In the district of Galle, 13% of children experience stunting (low height for age), which is a result of undernutrition, while 17% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had enough food of adequate quality.
Sri Lanka has been dealing with poverty for decades. Almost 45% of the total population lives on less than 5 USD a day. Specifically in the district of Galle, 10% of the population lives in poverty.
One of the causes of this poverty is the 2004 Tsunami, which had its biggest impact in the Galle area. Not only did it destroy infrastructure and contaminate thousands of water supply wells with sea water, it also left numerous children without any relatives who could care for them.
Sadly, poverty affects children the most, leaving them undernourished and taking away education opportunities.