Poverty in Sri Lanka has a long and complicated history, dating back to colonial rule and exacerbated by decades of civil war. According to recent statistics, more people live in rural than urban areas in Sri Lanka, with the poverty rate hovering around 6.7%. However, Sri Lankan poverty confines not only material deprivation but also social exclusion and marginalization.
In Sri Lanka, 16.0% of the population is multidimensionally poor. Estate areas are pockets of poverty, with 51.3% or more of the population living in poverty. Rural areas are also a concern, with 80.9%) of impoverished people living there. In Sri Lanka, those 65 and older are the poorest age group, with the highest levels of deprivation in health facilities, cooking fuel, drinking water, and basic facilities. The percentage of people living in poverty varies greatly by district, from a low of 3.5% in Colombo to 44.2% in Nuwara Eliya. High-impact policies must take into account the indicator composition of poverty, even for districts with identical MPI values, to plan the most economically sound course of action.
Three main pockets of poverty are Mullaitivu, Mannar, Batticaloa, and Monaragala. In contrast, most DS divisions in Monaragala, Colombo, and Gampaha made little progress in reducing poverty. Many pockets of high poverty existed even in affluent districts, including Colombo. The government has created subsidies for necessities such as food, housing, and healthcare. it is important to increase education and training programs and provide jobs.
However, it is difficult to reach excluded populations and ensure these initiatives are sustainable. Long-term poverty reduction objectives will need to tackle systemic problems such as income inequality and corruption. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are essential to the fight against poverty. - Oxfam, World Vision, and CARE International are a few that work to combat poverty in Sri Lanka.
Oxfam and Save the Children and World Vision work to improve the well-being of children and their families in Sri Lanka by providing education, healthcare, and livelihood support.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and CARE International work to empower women and girls in Sri Lanka by providing education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.
Funding for initiatives to reduce poverty and collaborations between NGOs, governments, and international organizations are essential to effectively address the issue of limited access to resources and services.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, major investors in and lenders to Sri Lanka have also emphasized the importance of social protection programs to facilitate the lower-income groups in Sri Lanka.
A call to action is needed to address poverty, which requires access to necessities such as clean water, healthcare, education, and job creation. It is a complex problem that requires a diversified strategy.
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