Around 500,000 Lankans fall below poverty line since pandemic | Daily News

Around 500,000 Lankans fall below poverty line since pandemic

Covid -19 pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges and in Sri Lanka, around 500,000 people have fallen below the poverty line since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Jobs have been lost, particularly among women, many of whom will never return to work. The implications of prolonged school closures will be more serious for children who couldn’t access online education, and the ‘silent learning crisis’ will impact future productivity and growth.” According to a World Bank report.

The report highlights the need to have robust and resilient systems to reduce exposure and vulnerability to shocks. “Adapting and preparing for emerging challenges is also important. For Sri Lanka, the rapidly ageing population and the rising non-communicable disease burden pose a significant threat to human capital, and failing to prepare for these challenges could be disastrous.”

Furthermore, the report says Sri Lanka could benefit from developing a human capital program that brings together key sectors and stakeholders for the implementation of comprehensive solutions that can help restore and accelerate human capital. Isolated interventions can only go so far in creating sustainable and meaningful change. Human capital challenges require integrated and holistic interventions, based on strong collaborations across key sectors. Additionally, human capital challenges are exacerbated by lack of access to and poor quality of basic services, including water, electricity, and transport.The report also says that Sri Lanka has achieved good results in human capital development with relatively low investment. This remarkable progress demonstrates the country’s potential, and provides a glimpse of what can be achieved with more efficient investment. Human capital challenges reveal inequalities along gender, geography, and income, which allow people to fall through the cracks. Investing now can help foster productive citizens who contribute to the national economy, reducing the cost and burden on the system.

“Looking ahead, Sri Lanka must prepare for the challenge of rebuilding lives and reshaping futures. At this crucial juncture, a renewed focus and commitment to human capital development could support a smooth and resilient recovery.”

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