This blog, based on a forthcoming IPS publication, discusses the impact of tobacco spending on other basic needs. The findings of the study show that spending on tobacco results in households foregoing other critical expenditure.
Implementing tobacco control policies to reduce smoking prevalence will enhance the economic well-being of people, particularly the poor, as it would free up more resources for basic needs such as food and education, resulting in a positive gain for the whole economy. For a developing country like Sri Lanka, it is essential to integrate tobacco control measures into poverty alleviation policies and programmes to benefit the individual, the household and the national economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a public health crisis, and morphed into a global economic crisis, with severe impacts on commercial activity, employment, and trade. In Sri Lanka, the pandemic has affected revenue streams of many businesses in the country. The impact is more harshly felt by unprotected workers. This blog discusses key issues that need to be rectified in Sri Lanka’s labour market policies to face similar emergencies in the future.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and preschools have been closed for nearly three months and until further notice. Missing out on school meals may lead to nutritional deficits of thousands of poor children in Sri Lanka. This is a grave situation, as nutritional shocks during childhood can result long-term effects on health and education outcomes. Given this context, the blog will discuss some steps that can be taken to mitigate nutritional fallouts among vulnerable children.
As Sri Lanka enters an increasingly competitive international environment, with a renewed enthusiasm to transform itself into a modern economy, the importance of promoting technological innovations and generating an educated workforce, possessing market-oriented skills, cannot be over emphasised. High quality human resources and a skilled labour force are vital to improve the country’s global competitiveness. As such, it is important to identify the reasons for gaps in access to education and improve access to all students.