There are several steps Sri Lanka can take to fast-track the achievement of SDG 1, and extend greater social protection to its most vulnerable groups. This blog analyses the Samurdhi (prosperity) programme, the country’s main poverty alleviation initiative launched in 1995, and argues that addressing its core problem of poor targeting of beneficiaries is essential to end poverty in Sri Lanka.
Although Sri Lanka has managed to reduce income poverty, income inequality has remained unchanged for more than four decades. The richest 20 per cent enjoy more than half the total household income of the country, while the poorest 20 per cent get only 5 per cent. Furthermore, income gaps between different regions is even wider than the income inequality at the national level. In this blog, the author highlights that the imbalances in opportunities and wide gaps in income levels, as well as in living conditions, among regions and between the rich and the poor, should be addressed immediately.
Sri Lanka’s post-conflict development trajectory has been a story of mixed results. In the aftermath of the conflict, Sri Lanka adopted many strategies to improve livelihood opportunities and reduce poverty and inequality, hoping to ensure harmony through better connectivity. However, there are significant regional disparities, especially in the case of previously conflict-affected districts. Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa, and Trincomalee record the highest poverty rates in the country. So, what is the way forward for Sri Lanka?
Improving institutional coherence is key to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sri Lanka’s Sustainable Development Act came into effect in October 2017. It represents an important step towards implementing the SDGs in the country. This blog looks at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the Act and gives recommendations on how to make its implementation more efficient.
In Sri Lanka, the tourism sector boasts of a vast potential to reach economic growth targets. It can also help achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As such, this blog discusses some of the ways in which tourism could make useful contributions towards reducing poverty and inequality, conserving the environment, improving water and sanitation, and promoting public-private partnerships.