Soup kitchens feed Sri Lanka's poor
July 27, 2022 - Soaring food inflation and chronic shortages of cooking gas and petrol are making daily life a battle for millions amid Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
The World Food Program estimates that three in 10 Sri Lankan households are experiencing food insecurity amid an inflation rate of 58.9 per cent.
Food inflation is driving price rises, which surged by 75.8% in June 2022 from 58.0% in May. Transport inflation jumped even more, to 96.8 per cent compared with June last year.
The worsening economic crisis has already led to food rationing, with supermarkets restricting the quantity of rice, milk powder, sugar, lentils and tinned fish sold to consumers. The price of a kilogram of rice had risen to 246 rupees, from 112 rupees a year ago, an increase of more than 120 per cent.
The United Nations estimates that around 5.7 million Sri Lankans, including 2.3 million children, require humanitarian assistance due to the spiralling cost of living.
In the tenth consecutive month of record-high inflation, Sri Lankans are spending days queuing for fuel, forgoing meals, and dealing with daily power cuts.