As global food crisis looms, Sri Lanka offers a cautionary tale
France24 says SRI LANKA’S government finally began bailout talks with IMF officials this week after a crippling delay exacerbated a longstanding economic crisis. But as food prices soar amid an impending global food shortage sparked by the Ukraine conflict, Sri Lankans are paying a heavy price for the government’s mismanagement, nepotism and lack of accountability, which went unchecked for decades.
Nethmi Rajawasam’s dreams for the future appeared to go up in smoke from the firewood stove the family was forced to adopt as the economic crisis went from bad to worse.
Like most urban Sri Lankan middle-class families, the Rajawasams used cooking gas cylinders – a kitchen essential that everyone took for granted – to prepare their meals. But that was before the South Asian island nation suffered its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948.
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