Dr Ganga Tilakaratna Speaks on Impact of COVID-19 on Poverty in Sri Lanka

6 September 2021

Dr Ganga Tilakaratna, Research Fellow at IPS, spoke on the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in Sri Lanka at the Session on ‘Socioeconomic Effects in South Asia’ of the 2021 UNU-WIDER Development Conference on ‘COVID-19 and Development – Effects and New Realities for the Global South’ organised by the United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) on 6-8 September 2021.

Dr Tilakaratna noted that the pandemic has caused a reversal in the progress made towards poverty reduction in Sri Lanka over the past five years. She explained that the main contributory factor for rising poverty and inequality is the employment shock caused by the pandemic, particularly in the form of job losses and fall in incomes. While the pandemic has affected workers across all employment categories, the effect seems to be more severe among informal sector workers like daily wage earners, casual workers as well as self-employed persons who account for about 60% of the workers in Sri Lanka.