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The Right to Food Campaign’s (India) Statement on the Increasing Food
and Nutritional Insecurity in Sri Lanka

8 JUNE 2022 - The crisis in Sri Lanka highlights the urgent need for countries to strive toward self-sufficiency in the production of essential food items to meet the domestic needs and to put in place decentralized food systems with local communities having more control over the production. It also serves as a cautionary tale for governments against pushing arbitrary policies affecting farming and production without adequate preparation and dialogue with farmers.

We would like to urge the Sri Lankan government and society to ensure that this crisis is used as an opportunity to address the economic crisis but also meet the demands for truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non recurrence pertaining to the crimes against humanity committed during the civil war.

Activists concerned about child nutrition and GBV -

1 May 2022 - Concerns have arisen regarding the provision of nutrition to children, as well as incidences of gender-based violence (GBV), in the Jaffna Province. Speaking to The Morning, activist M.Darshani said: “If the current situation continues there is a possibility of not having enough food or proper nutrition and an increase of gender-based violence in the area.

“Children are facing starvation due to current price increase of essential items, loss of jobs of parents, shortages of fuel and gas. They are much more susceptible to disease and illnesses such as dysentery, and diarrhoea.”

She said that especially preschool and primary schoolchildren have lost their access to nutrition, basic materials, and mental health.

IMF says any loan to Sri Lanka requires debt sustainability - David Lawder, Reuters

Sri Lankan Economic Crisis Inflicted by Self-Serving Elite By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

19 April 2022 - In February 2022, SL had only US$2.31 billion in foreign exchange reserves – too little to cover its import bill and debt repayment obligations of US$4 billion. Its 22 million people face 12-hour power cuts, and extreme scarcities of food, fuel and other essential items such as medicines. Inflation reached an all-time high of 17.5% in February 2022, with food prices rising 24% in January-February 2022. But economic crisis is not new to SL. As a commodity producer – mainly exporting tea, coffee, rubber and spices – export earnings have long been volatile, vulnerable to external shocks. Foreign exchange earnings have also come from ready-made garments, tourism and remittances, but their shares have grown little over decades. Since 1965, SL has obtained 16 IMF loans, typically with onerous conditionalities. The last was in 2016, providing US$1.5 billion over 2016-19. Required austerity measures have squeezed public investment, hurting growth and welfare.

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