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Children Left With No Option But To Stay Hungry In Sri Lanka

A severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka has left children hungry, the UN said on Friday, predicting similar shortages in other South Asian countries

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A severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka has left children hungry, the UN said on Friday, predicting similar shortages in other South Asian countries.

There are limited supplies of food, fuel, and other essentials in Sri Lanka due to a lack of foreign currency.

George Laryea-Adjei, the South Asia director for the UN children’s agency, said that there was an acute crisis among families who were skipping meals because of the increasing cost of kitchen staples. 

He added that it is impossible to predict where children will get their next meal as they go to bed hungry.

International Monetary Fund bailout talks are currently underway with Sri Lanka following the default of its USD 51 billion foreign debt in April.

Laryea Adjej said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also pushed up energy prices, hurting neighbouring economies and causing nutrition crises that could also affect other countries in the region.

He said that children’s lives are at risk as a result of acute economic precarity and inflation sweeping South Asia.

Approximately half of Sri Lanka's children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and UNICEF has issued an appeal for it.

In an effort to combat the rapidly spreading issue of malnutrition among children, the government published its own appeal this month.

There were 1,27,000 malnourished pre-school children nationwide in 2021, according to official figures.

Officials believe food shortages combined with spiralling inflation have fueled the increase.

As a result of thousands of protesters storming his official residence last month, former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and resigned.


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sri lanka food crisis