UN worries Sri Lanka could lead to humanitarian disaster
Sri Lanka's economic crisis might escalate into a full-fledged humanitarian emergency.
According to Jens Laerke, Deputy Spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Sri Lanka's economic crisis might escalate into a full-fledged humanitarian emergency.
Laerke told a briefing that "Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. We are concerned that this could develop into a full-blown humanitarian emergency and we are taking action to address that concern."
According to Laerke, the UN team in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with partner NGOs, unveiled a $47 million plan on Thursday to meet the urgent needs of 1.7 million of the most vulnerable and impacted individuals.
According to him, about 5.7 million people require humanitarian help.
Sri Lanka is in a political impasse as a result of the country's greatest economic crisis since independence in 1948. Sri Lanka declared an interim default on its external debt in mid-April, awaiting a restructuring of these liabilities through an IMF-supported economic adjustment program. The external debt of Sri Lanka is projected to be $51 billion.
The slump is being blamed on foreign exchange shortages due to a tourism crackdown during the COVID-19 epidemic. It left the country unable to purchase adequate fuel, resulting in a severe shortage of food and basic commodities, as well as heating fuel and gas.
Sri Lanka appoints PM to lead the finance ministry
As the island nation grapples with its worst-ever economic crisis, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was given the extra task of directing the finance ministry on Wednesday.
The island nation is experiencing its greatest economic catastrophe since independence, with fuel and other essential goods shortages making life unpleasant for its 22 million people.
In May, Sri Lanka received Russian oil in order to restore operations at the country's sole refinery.