Power cuts. Fuel queues. Popular uprising. A historic and crisis-ridden year in Sri Lanka is drawing to a close. For many, the battles are just beginning.
According to a UNICEF report published in June, 5.7 million Sri Lankans, including 2.3 million children, required humanitarian assistance in the first few months of the country’s economic crisis. This is out of a population of 22 million. A World Food Programme brief published in July warned that malnourishment is expected to worsen: it estimated that there were already 6.3 million food-insecure people in the country.
Alarm bells have been ringing all the way up the food supply chain. Sri Lanka’s farmers had been staging protests for months before the wider population descended on the streets.