søndag 16. januar 2022

'We are fasting as if it's Ramadan': Sri Lanka on the brink of bankruptcy; millions bear the brunt

Sri Lanka is heavily dependent on imports, even to meet its basic food supplies including rice, sugar and milk powder. With foreign exchange drying up and the rupee depreciating by more than 11.1 per cent, the price of necessities has catapulted. Sri Lanka’s inflation rocketed further after a record money printing by the government to maintain low interest rates in November.

In April last year, President Rajapaksa announced his plan to make Sri Lanka the first nation in the world to return to strictly organic farming and make it a green economy. He promptly banned the importation and use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, weedicides and fungicides. A fast-depleting foreign reserves caused by a pandemic recession, led to severe shortages of food, fuel, medicine and other essentials. The banning of imported fertiliser led to further shortage of food. On August 31, the government declared a state of emergency and imposed rationing.