According to Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s hunger problems are caused by humans.
Speaking at an international panel discussion on preventing hunger and famine, the acting president stated that after the decision to ban fertilizer, which had a significant impact on Sri Lanka, the country was forced to import one-third of its rice from abroad.
In addition, he explains that it is difficult to meet these demands given the country’s foreign exchange shortage.
In addition, according to the acting president, Sri Lanka currently has sufficient rice stocks for five months and imports for three months. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka will be forced to rely on substitutes for the next four months in the absence of a solution.
Therefore, the Prime Minister announced that the government is initiating a food security program that will allow them to provide fertilizer for the maha season.
Then, in 2023, we will be self-sufficient in rice and the real economy will be able to function in terms of agriculture, said Wickremesinghe.
However, he stated that Sri Lanka has issues with the importation of fertilizer, as the country needs 600 million dollars to import but only has 300 million dollars at the moment.
He added that this year’s economic contraction will be approximately 6%.
In addition, the acting president emphasized that there will be a significant decline in employment during the course of the year, as well as widespread hunger and a fuel shortage.
Wickremesinghe questioned what other nations would do in such a situation after noting that all of this has led to political unrest.
“It is insufficient to ask individuals to tighten their belts alone. We cannot be conventional in our thinking; we must think outside the box. He stated that a solution was required.
Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe also weighed in on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and its effects on third-world nations, questioning whether sanctions are intended to help us overcome the global shortage or hinder us.
“Do you believe that sanctions will aid? It will only result in a price increase. Therefore, let’s begin with the achievable objectives. Let us examine the sanctions that are being imposed and determine whether or not they are required. The sanctions will not bring Russia to its knees, but they will bring the rest of the third world to its knees, he said.
In addition, the acting president noted that, just as other countries have given Sri Lanka a total of 14 billion dollars, 100 billion dollars are being spent on the war in Ukraine by all parties involved in supplying Ukraine.
“This is untenable. The EU is not solely responsible. Likewise, Russia has a duty. They must call for a cessation of hostilities and should spare the world any further suffering, he added.