December 5, 2023

The BBC noted in a report on Monday, citing mothers, that the seemingly ongoing economic crisis that has left most parts of Sri Lanka without food, fuel, medicine or basic commodities, has seriously endangered the country’s energy supply, triggering a wave Growing malnutrition of children. In the country desperate to keep their children fed.

Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of nearly every commodity necessary for society to function and what Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called in June a “complete collapse” of the national economy after years of socialist mismanagement. Formally, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the ruling Rajapaksa family spent years paltry spending on government projects, striking predatory loan deals with China, and engaging in risky “green” practices such as banning chemical fertilizers that have forced the nation to import a large proportion. of her food unnecessarily. Since Sri Lanka’s economy is largely dependent on the tourism sector, the Rajapaksa government’s failures led to a severe crisis after the Chinese coronavirus pandemic largely wiped out foreign tourism.

The Rajapaksa family has been in government leadership almost without interruption since the end of the 26-year civil war in 2009. At its peak, dozens of Rajapaksa’s relatives held the presidency, premiership and ministerial positions. Ongoing national protests have driven most members of the Rajapaksa family from power – most notably former Prime Minister and President Mahinda Rajapaksa – but his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, remains president. Protests at empty petrol stations, in front of government buildings and in public squares demanded Rajapaksa’s resignation, to no avail.

The government has done little to tackle the economic crisis, leaving children especially vulnerable, BBC mentioned on Monday. Mothers seeking food from churches and trying to find affordable sources of nutrition in stores told the BBC they are struggling to keep their children healthy.

My kids are miserable. They suffer in every possible way. I can’t even buy a box of biscuits or milk for my children,” a woman known only as Sahna told the BBC. The site noted that Sahna was a mother of four, including her unborn child in September.

Another mother the BBC spoke to in a community kitchen catering to those in need, known as Chandrika Manel, lamented that vegetables had become a luxury item for her four children.

“There are times [give them] With milk and rice, but we do not cook any vegetables. Manel said.

Reverend Musa Akash, who runs the kitchen, told the BBC that “most” of the children who visit the kitchen show signs of malnutrition.

Sri Lanka’s local media have published regular reports revealing “rocket altitudeVegetable prices – the product of a failed attempt to become an ‘organic’ agricultural capital, which Gotabaya Rajapaksa called a ‘mistake’ in April – and other signs of economic devastation, such as banks issuing less loans.

“Banks have virtually stopped lending to private borrowers as interest rates have risen into restricted territory and economic conditions have gone from bad to worse,” daily mirror note on Monday. Meanwhile, demand for credit has also fallen off a cliff.

Farmers plant rice seedlings in a paddy field in Bandaragamma, Sri Lanka, on June 5, 2022. Buddhika Weerasinghe / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The paper pointed out that the demand for credit collapsed as commodity prices skyrocketed – 80 percent for food prices and a 55 percent increase in consumer prices overall.

Children are facing disproportionate suffering at the hands of the crisis in ways that go beyond malnutrition. Sri Lanka has also failed to provide adequate education. In late June, the government announced an attempt to move to “virtual education,” where children sit in front of a computer at home to watch remote teachers give lessons, in the face of food shortages and families trying to grow food at home. But the severe shortage of electricity in the country has made this almost impossible.

“All government and government approved private schools across the country will remain closed this week,” the Department of Education says. Ada Dirana I mentioned on Sunday. “The turnout of students, teachers, school administrators, and the fuel distribution process of the Ministry of Energy and Energy was discussed during the meeting.”

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe tried to give the country some hope by addressing Parliament on Tuesday in which he claimed he had engaged in fruitful talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to find a “road map” out of the crisis. But even in this news, his description of the current situation in Sri Lanka remained bleak.

“We are now engaged in the negotiations as a bankrupt country,” Wickremesinghe said in detail. “Therefore, we have to face a situation that is more difficult and complicated than the previous negotiations…This is not a straightforward process.”

Wickremesinghe announced that the government planned to stop printing any money by 2024 and had not abandoned a socialist economic structure despite its fiasco, and insisted that the government’s goal was to emulate the economies of communist countries such as China and Vietnam.

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