Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) lead to around 120,000 deaths in Sri Lanka each year, constituting 83% of the overall recorded deaths. The revised National Policy and Strategic Framework for the Prevention and Control of NCDs is a positive initiative by the government to address this. Such policies can play a crucial role in promoting healthier lifestyles, preventing NCDs, and improving overall public health. However, the question that lingers is, how effective are the existing measures, and where can we make improvements?
In the battle against NCDs, the government implemented a crucial policy in 2017 – the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax. This tax aimed to curb the consumption of SSBs closely linked to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and dental issues. While this measure holds great promise, evaluating its effectiveness is difficult owing to data gaps. However, an IPS analysis of how SSB taxes are helping to reduce their consumption in Sri Lanka provides some initial insights.
Returnee migrant workers often possess a wealth of knowledge and skills acquired during their time overseas, leading them to feel adequately equipped for the global job market. However, in today’s rapidly evolving international job market, adaptability and acquiring new skill sets are essential for sustained career growth. Relying solely on existing skills can lead to complacency and hinder long-term prospects. On the other hand, continuous up-skilling can open doors to more stable and higher-earning employment opportunities. As Sri Lanka unveils its Labour Migration Policy 2023-2027, it is timely to shed light on the importance of skill development for re-migration.
With the introduction of Aswesuma as a brand-new initiative targeting the poor and vulnerable, social protection in Sri Lanka has been a much-debated subject lately. Aswesuma primarily intends to overcome some key weaknesses of existing social protection programmes – at least on paper – but several challenges prevail. However, opinions regarding its capabilities to accomplish this remain ambiguous. The public has been protesting the scheme, and opposition party critics have called it an unfair political gimmick. Initially scheduled for disbursement in July 2023, the benefits for July finally commenced disbursement last Monday (28th August) for 800,000 beneficiaries. This blog delves into the key areas that warrant clarification, with the hope that authorities will address these concerns transparently.
Bridging Conservation and Livelihoods: Addressing the Human-Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka on World Elephant Day
On World Elephant Day, attention turns to the unique challenges faced by Sri Lanka in the realm of human-elephant conflict (HEC). HEC’s escalating toll paints a stark reality. Human communities endure property damage, crop loss, and tragic fatalities, amplifying poverty and socio-economic instability. In 2022, as per the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), Sri Lanka documented a total of 145 human fatalities resulting from HEC. Simultaneously, elephants face habitat loss, injuries, and mortality due to retaliatory killings and encounters with human settlements. DWC reported a substantial rise in elephant mortality, reaching a peak with a recorded total of 433 deaths in 2022. Therefore, the urgent need for implementing effective solutions to minimise HEC in the country becomes paramount.
Sri Lanka’s recently gazetted domestic debt restructuring (DDR) exercise has drawn expressions of both support and criticism. Overall, negotiations have to be framed within certain desired outcomes to minimise costs to the economy. To this end, Sri Lanka’s negotiating stance dovetails neatly with crucial research evidence.