SRI LANKA CRISIS:
CHILDREN IN NEED
SRI LANKA CRISIS : CHILDREN IN NEED
Sri Lanka is facing an acute economic and energy crisis triggered by a shortage of hard currency. A foreign currency shortage has left Sri Lanka struggling to import essential goods, even as the coronavirus pandemic has cut off vital tourism revenue
A sudden rise in the price of key commodities and fuel shortage forced tens of thousands of people to queue for hours outside petrol filling stations since March 2022. People are also facing daily power cuts of up to 12-13 hours. Sri Lanka’s food inflation climbed to 25.7 per cent and retail inflation at 15.1 per cent in February 2022, among the highest in Asia as well as highest in Sri Lanka since 2008. March inflation was even higher following the unpegging of the rupee vs the US Dollar. Commodities like food and fuel are either unavailable or exorbitantly priced (food inflation was 30% in March putting many staples out beyond the reach of many ordinary Sri Lankans).
Children are at the heart of this crisis as families struggle to find enough food, children are unable to go to school as public transport is cut, cutting their access to school meals, making them further vulnerable to be pushed into child labour etc. The Ministry of Education postponed school examinations due to printing paper shortage. It is likely that all children (6 million) will be affected by this crisis.
Quotes of children
“My school in Colombo had to close before the end of the term. I was not able to go to school because there was no fuel. I am worried about what will happen next. I just need fuel for my school van”
“I had a dream to have a bicycle. But it is now just a dream because survival is the most important thing now. My parents promised to buy me one after I pass my exam. But now they are unable to afford it. Prices for everything have gone up”
“My mother got very sick few days ago. She was taken to different hospitals. We couldn’t find proper medicine. The family was worried. I was scared. I wish all health centres to have enough medicine.
“My little sister cries in the night because it is too hot. No electricity. Even I can't sleep peacefully. We all wake up tired in the morning and feel sick all day”
“My dad stays in long fuel and gas queues throughout the day. I miss playing with him. All I need is to spend more time with my parents”