Climate & Food Security Monitoring Bulletin

Wet conditions prevailed during December 2020 and January 2021 over the country, however, dry conditions were also experienced from February to April 2021 in many parts of the country. A considerable amount of rainfall was received across the country during the North-East monsoon (December 2020 to February 2021), however, it was less in the central areas compared to the long-term average. The DMC, NDRSC, Military, and Public Administrative agencies implemented a special preparedness programme which was supported by WFP and other agencies during October and November to prepare for the North-East monsoon, however only minor flooding was experienced in addition to the havoc created by cyclone “Burevi” in the northern region. Meanwhile, an above-normal rainfall was observed in North-central, North-western and Northern regions (Figure 01 & 02) during December and January, accumulating good water storage in tanks in the Dry & Intermediate zones. These favourable rainfall regimes during the “Maha” season helped to enhance the cultivation of paddy, vegeta bles, fruits and other cash crops, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. The 2020/21 "Maha" season harvest was above the 10-year average despite the delayed start of the season due to weak second inter-monsoon rains during Octo ber and November 2020. The movement restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 outbreak during October and November, impacted the household economy and food security in the country. The consequent return to functioning markets and sup ply chain helped to stabilize the demand and supply of food and other essentials. The Government also com menced an island-wide home gardening campaign to increase domestic production, which helped to provide stable income options for vulnerable communities while ensuring household food security. The current storage levels of major and medium reservoirs in the country are above average, which is conducive for a good Yala cropping season in 2021. For the next three months, near-normal rains are forecasted, associated with the conditions created by a mild La-Nina event currently observed in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and neutral IOD in the Indian Ocean, which may not negatively influence the water storage and cultivation in the 2021 Yala season.