Saturday, April 1, 2023

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Sri Lanka falls from 1st place to 11 in Asia food security index

Without sufficient food reserves, fuel , cooking gas and steady supply of electricity or currency to import more essential commodities , Sri Lanka is set to face another unprecedented worst economic management crisis again soon, economic experts warned.

Sri Lanka lost its first place ranking in the food security index for Asia in 2016-2017 dropping to 11 th place by mid -2022.

Today, Sri Lanka is experiencing food insecurity due to the economic crisis in two ways: First, the escalating human unrest, protests, and long queues for food; second, the extreme dependency on foreign countries, for credit and aid.

The President and the Prime Minister are dragging the present administration in two directions due to different orders given by the President and the Prime Minister calling official meetings, several economic and political analysts said.

Sri Lanka is no stranger to such economic strife as a similar situation prevailed during the previous Yahapalana government but it is unfortunate for the South Asian Country which had just started its economic recovery with prompt diplomatic corrective actions taken by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, they pointed out.

With half of the SL public administration work from home while top officials adopting a wait and sea attitude on the implementation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa programmes in accordance with his tools, Sri Lanka seems to have run out of recovery options , SJB MP and Former Megapolis and Energy Minister Patalee Champika Ranawake said.

The policy blunders and his shortsighted economic directions given to top officials on the advice of his close associates by the President have adversely affected the food security of the country, he said adding that the head of state’s recent showup official meetings will result in another economic disaster in the country.

It is evident that the households will move from transitory to chronic food insecurity in the coming months if such economic conditions prevail.

Due to mismanagement of resources (land, labour, and capital) and finance, coupled with myopic policy measures such as tax cuts severely affected major economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and trade. Sri Lanka today suffers from a severe energy crisis leading to fuel and gas shortages as well as hours of brownouts.

As a result of the economic crisis, many small businesses have become non-lucrative, and people have their lost livelihoods.

Moreover, food supply chains are disrupted due to the energy crisis. Large amounts of essential food imports have been stopped.

Protein-rich food such as eggs, meat, lentils, and milk have become unaffordable to low-income earning groups, putting vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and pregnant groups at risk of food and nutritional insecurity

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