Policy seminar on food inflation in Sri Lanka and the role of social safety nets
The seminar titled ‘Economic Crisis, Soaring Food Prices, and Nutritional Wellbeing: Options for Safety Net Interventions in Sri Lanka’ included PRCI-Asia lead Suresh Babu on the panel
Sri Lanka is currently facing unsustainable debt and significant balance of payments challenges making its economic outlook highly uncertain. Structural weaknesses, gaps in policy responses, political turmoil, and adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Ukraine crisis have contributed significantly to rising commodity prices in the country.
Given the soaring food prices in the country, there is a need to strengthen and expand existing social safety interventions to ensure food and nutrition security. With support from the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System for Asia (ReSAKSS-Asia), and the Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI), the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) organized a policy seminar to understand the underlying causes of recent food inflation in Sri Lanka and the role of social safety nets in addressing this challenge. The seminar titled ‘Economic Crisis, Soaring Food Prices, and Nutritional Wellbeing: Options for Safety Net Interventions in Sri Lanka’ was held on May 23, 2022. It was moderated by Dr Manoj Thibbotuwawa from IPS.
Dr Jeevika Weerahewa and Dr Pradeepa Koralegedara from University of Peradeniya along with Dr Suresh Babu (IFPRI) presented the seminar. The presentation focussed on three core issues:
- Economic Crisis and Soaring Food Prices in Sri Lanka – Causes of the problems and related research questions
- Effects of Soaring Food Prices on Cost of Diet and Adequacy of Existing Safety Net Interventions on Food and Nutrition Security
- Safety Nets during crises times- What worked and where and what lessons can be learned from international experiences?
The seminar recording can be accessed here.