Sri Lanka continues to face its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. Driven by multiple factors, in part exacerbated by the pandemic and the rising cost of living, more than a quarter of the 22 million population is struggling to find adequate, nutritious food.
Ayanka, Compassion’s Senior Manager of Partnership in Sri Lanka says, “Malnutrition is rising. 21 per cent of the population is experiencing food shortages…we see parents eating only one or two meals a day. Breastfeeding mothers do not eat three meals, so the nutrition level of children and caregivers is lowering.”
Please pray for a swift end to this crisis, for the Sri Lankan economy to stabilise, and for minimal impact on children and families.
Please join us in prayer for the following:
Below we answer some questions you may have.
The crisis has increased pandemic hardships for Sri Lankans and has caused a humanitarian crisis: many can no longer afford essential goods. Due to policy changes and importation challenges, the country is experiencing a resource shortage. Food, medicine, and fuel are difficult to acquire, and power cuts are becoming more severe with periods of seven to ten hours (or more) without power. Banking access could become problematic, and many vendors may require cash payments. Many families’ income can no longer support their needs due to sharp inflation, and there is a concern for increased child protection issues and possible increases in child labour.
Compassion is still assessing how this crisis may impact our programme, our operations, the children and young people we serve and their families, our national office staff and their families, and our local partners (projects). A crisis management team has been formed to plan, address, or mitigate impacts where possible, and we are developing our response plan based on the findings of this team.
Like our local partners and programme participant families, our staff and their extended families are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and difficulty acquiring essential goods and resources due to inflation and supply chain issues. Food, medicine, and fuel are difficult to obtain, and power cuts are becoming more severe with periods of seven to ten (or more) hours without power. Banking access could become problematic, and many vendors may require cash payments.
A crisis management team has been formed to plan, address, or mitigate impacts where possible. The team has identified four focus areas in which we may be able to reduce the impact of the crisis:
• Compassion operations
• financial impacts
• resource scarcity
• individual well-being
If you sponsor a child, they’re still attending their local Compassion project in Sri Lanka and still receiving the benefits of our child development programme. The project is maintaining communication with your sponsored child and their family. It remains best placed to assess their needs and determine how to respond to those needs. Compassion’s child protection specialists in Sri Lanka have also been trained to monitor, identify, and address your sponsored child’s emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
Yes. At this time, we’ve not experienced any interruptions in our ability to provide funding to our local partners.
At this time, we’ve not experienced any interruptions in our ability to deliver letters or monetary gifts, so please keep writing. Your sponsored child will value your encouragement and love. However, it is possible that in the days and weeks to come, the crisis will impact our local partners’ ability to operate as expected; if this happens, we’ll contact sponsors to explain these impacts.
At this time, we’ve not experienced severe interruptions in our ability to deliver child letters to sponsors, but owing to regular power cuts, there may be some delay in processing letters. It’s possible that in the days and weeks to come, the crisis will impact our local partners’ ability to operate as expected (like letter-writing); if this happens, we’ll contact sponsors to explain these impacts.
The World Bank estimates that 500,000 people have fallen below the poverty line since the start of the pandemic. This equates to five years of progress in the fight against poverty being lost. This crisis will only exacerbate additional setbacks in the fight against poverty.
We understand you may have further questions. Please do call our friendly team on 01932 836490 if you have any questions or concerns. We’d love to help.
Our phone lines are open from 9:30am – 6pm, Monday to Thursday and 9:30am – 5pm on Friday.
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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.