On behalf of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, it is my pleasure to share with you this Annual Report covering 2021. It contains the combined achievements and results of all the UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the country.

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Sri Lanka

2021 Results Highlights

The Ministry of Health and the medical association, with UN support established a centrally managed home-based care system for patients with less severe COVID-19.This served over 165,000 people at the peak of the third wave of the virus, contributing significantly to reducing burdens on the health system.

The UN helped accelerate the national COVID-19 vaccination programme targeting priority groups, while also facilitating the delivery of some five million COVAX vaccines and supplying two million syringes for mass immunization.

The UN partnered with Sarvodaya to disseminate information and engage communities during the pandemic, training grassroot groups and community and religious leaders to address stigma and discrimination.

The UN provided technical assistance on the revision of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including overall coordination and policy analysis in sectors such as domestic water supply and drinking water.

During school closures, the UN worked with education authorities to ensure learning continuity and recovery for primary grades, benefitting over 835,000 children across Sri Lanka. Half were girls, including those from the most disadvantaged communities.

The HackaDev social innovation initiative for young entrepreneurs went online with its flagship camp turned into a comprehensive six-week learning management system.

The UN collaborated with the Department of Census and Statistics on rolling out the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (NMPI) to inform relevant government policy decisions.

The UN initiated the development of the national policy on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

For the first time ever, the Parliament of Sri Lanka with UN support provided simultaneous sign language interpretation of the Budget Debate for the 2022 financial year.

The UN and the Ministry of Health advocated jointly for an expansion from 10 to 24 months of an existing nutrition voucher programme for pregnant and lactating mothers.

The UN facilitated the importation quality assurance of maize, providing "Thriposha" supplementary food for over 625,000 pregnant and lactating mothers and their children.

The UN supported the Ministry of Health to assist over 150,000 children with severe and moderate acute malnutrition and assess quality of care for some 40,000 mothers and their newborns.