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Lanka excels among her SA neighbours in reducing hunger in 2020

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Sri Lanka has been ranked 64 out of the 107 countries in the 2020 Global Hunger Index, with a score of 16.3 and has a level of hunger that is moderate.

The 2020 GHI released last week examines levels of hunger in 107 developing countries and scores them based on four indicators – the prevalence of undernourishment, child stunting (low height-for-age), child wasting (low weight-for-height), and child mortality.

Despite efforts to increase the nutritional level of Sri Lanka’s children, Sri Lanka still experiences a malnutrition burden among its under-five population and behind the developing country average in child stunting.

In the case of Sri Lanka, examination of its GHI indicator values reveals that while the prevalence of undernourishment, child stunting, and child mortality have declined moderately, child wasting has gone up.

According to the 2020 GHI report, 7.6% of Sri Lanka’s population is undernourished. It also showed the country recorded a 15.1% of wasting and 17.3% of stunting rate among children under five years. The under-five mortality rate stood at 0.7%.

Among other South Asian countries India ranked 94th, Nepal 73rd, Bangladesh 75th, Pakistan 88th and Afghanistan 99th.



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Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving

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Govt. to provide monthly assistance package – official

By Ifham Nizam 

Plans are underway to assist an average needy family of  four with a monthly package of Rs. 15,000, a senior adviser to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, adding that the move was expected to help ameliorate the plight of nearly 65,000 families.

Food Security Committee Chairman Dr. Suren Batagoda told The Island yesterday that at present some 100,000 families across the country were starving.

He said financial assistance would be provided to those families for three months. Within three months, the government would design a package in the form of food stamps, etc.

Dr. Batagoda said the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and state agencies would also team up to strengthen food security, focusing especially on needy pregnant mothers and pre-school children.

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GR govt. ignored Chinese lenders’ request for debt restructuring

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government had ignored suggestions by Chinese lending institutions that Sri Lanka to restructure the debt in 2021, Prof. Samitha Hettige said yesterday.

“The Rajapaksa government started talking of debt restructuring earlier this year. The Opposition had been asking for this before,” he said.  By 2021, before the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration decided on debt restructuring, the Chinese institutions that had given Sri Lanka loans suggested that a restructuring process should start since Sri Lanka would have trouble repaying the loans, the Strategic Studies scholar said.

However, the request had gone unheeded, and if the government had started discussions then, Sri Lanka would not have been in crisis, Prof. Hettige said.

The Sri Lankan foreign policy, in the last few years, had also been misguided, Prof. Hettige said. A number of Indian and Chinese companies faced unnecessary issues by the behaviour of the government, he said.

Prof. Hettige said that the government must focus on establishing free trade ports and reducing negative lists for investments.

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SJB dissociates itself from SF’s call for protest

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By Chaminda Silva

MP Sarath Fonseka’s call for people to join anti-government protests was not a decision taken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), party MP J.C Alawathuwala said.

The SJB believed that they had to help President Ranil Wickremesinghe stabilise the country, economically and politically, he said.

MP Alawathuwala said the President must be given some time to solve the problems faced by the people and that the SJB was holding discussions with the government to guide it on a people-friendly path.

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