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Sri Lanka Food Crisis: People Are Dying For Food In Rising Inflation

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Sri Lanka Food Crisis: The food crisis in Sri Lanka is deepening, hitting the ordinary people there. People are falling prey to starvation. Instead of three times, only one meal has been gathered.

The story of Fatima Arooj, who lives in the area adjacent to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is going to make me cry. Amid a starvation crisis, he has lied to his two young children that it is the month of Ramadan, so everyone has to fast.

If there is no food, then children do the drama of Ramadan

He told Khaleej Times, ‘I have told my children that it is the month of Ramzan, and that’s why we are fasting. Don’t tell them anything else.’

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Fatima’s children are five years old and six years old. Her husband of 36 years is a daily wage labourer and has been a victim of depression. Fatima cannot feed her children three times, so she has to lie to her children that fasting is being done due to Ramzan.

“After breaking our fast early in the morning, we can arrange for plain porridge, rice soaked in water and onions,” says Fatima. This keeps the children silent.

Village Villages on the Verge of Starvation

Fatima is not the only one in Sri Lanka with a crippling economy, struggling to meet her needs. In the Kalpitiya region of north-western Sri Lanka, one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world, villages are starving.

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Rahmat Nias, a single mother of three children, is surrounded by her crying children. She says, ‘We are hungry most of the time now. Some people kindly give us fish to eat, with that, we fill our stomachs. The amount I earn is no longer enough to buy food.

In this area, fishers and labourers live in thatched houses.

COVID Broke Sri Lanka’s Back

This tourism-dependent island has been badly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Critics are blaming the government for this plight.

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Sri Lanka, dependent on imports, is facing a shortage of foreign exchange dollars. Due to this, Sri Lanka has come on the verge of bankruptcy. Inflation has reached record levels. There has been a shortage of food items in the country, due to which inflation is touching the sky, and people are not getting enough food.

Sri Lanka will have an outstanding debt of $ 7 billion in 2022. The government will have to pay $500 million by January 18 and $1 billion in July.

According to a report in the Colombo Gazette, Sri Lanka has been facing a double deficit for the last decade – fiscal deficit and trade deficit. Since 2014, the burden of foreign debt on Sri Lanka has been increasing, and in 2019 it reached 42.6 per cent of GDP.

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In 2019, the country’s total foreign debt was estimated at $ 33 billion, a significant burden on Sri Lanka.

Lowest CC Rating

Last month, American credit rating agency Fitch gave Sri Lanka the lowest CC rating. Despite its rising foreign debt over the years, Sri Lanka never went bankrupt. But this rating was a big blow to Sri Lanka. Economists say that this year may be the end of Sri Lanka’s clean record that it never went bankrupt.

Sri Lanka Refuses to Take Help From IMF

International economists, including Sri Lankan economists, also demand that the government try to get out of this situation by taking a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Still, on Wednesday, the government refused to help the IMF.

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In a press conference, the Governor of the Central Bank, Ajit Nivard Cabral, told the media that the country would prefer to take fresh loans from China, which it is already heavily indebted to, rather than going to the IMF.

He said, ‘IMF is not a magic wand. At this point, other options are better than going to the IMF.

Last Sunday, on the occasion of 65 years of Sri Lanka-China bilateral ties, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for the rescheduling of the country’s Chinese debt. China is the largest lender to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has an external deficit of $ 35 billion. China has a debt of $ 4 billion on the country.

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India is also helping Sri Lanka by giving it loans, but these two countries are not helping Sri Lanka, but Sri Lanka is indebted to many more countries.

Many countries are giving loans to Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh lent $200 million to Sri Lanka under a currency swap in June. Sri Lanka has also taken loans from Iran and Qatar. Despite all this, Sri Lanka has not been able to stop the food and energy crisis in the country.

Shrimp farmer Shevanta Ratnayake says, “The power cut has increased our production cost by more than 50 per cent as we now have to run generators. Simultaneously, the cost of imported food for shrimp has increased due to rising dollar value. We are at a loss. We will not be able to do this work, and I do not know what to do next.

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Sri Lanka Dependent on Imports

Sri Lanka is also heavily dependent on imports to meet its primary food supply, including rice, sugar and milk powder. The price of essential commodities has increased due to the foreign currency depreciation and over 11.1 per cent in the Sri Lankan rupee. Inflation in Sri Lanka rose further in November after the government printed record money to maintain low-interest rates.

In April last year, President Rajapaksa announced that Sri Lanka would be utterly organic farming and that Sri Lanka would become the first country to have a green economy. He immediately banned the import and use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and weedicides. The ban on imported fertilizer hurt farmers and agriculture. Due to this also there was a shortage of food grains.

On August 31, the government declared a state of emergency and started providing ration to the people at a low cost. But this increased black marketing, after which the army was deployed to confiscate the goods from the warehouses and force the farmers to sell the grain to the government agency. The prices of vegetables increased by more than 400 per cent, after which vegetables started disappearing from the plate of ordinary people.

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People are on the verge of starvation. Fatima says, “Schools started last week, but I will not be able to send the children to school. I cannot bear the cost of food, then from where will I get money for their uniform and books.

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Abhay Singh
Abhay Singh
Abhay Singh is Our Journalist at Spot News 18. He Loves to Gather News and to Provide Authentic News to Our Readers. He Is very Passionated about his Work.

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