The country’s newspaper Daily FT on Thursday reported a new study by Peradeniya University, revealing that around 9.6 million Sri Lankans live below the poverty line.
The report quoted Professor Vasantha Athukorla from the university’s Department of Economics and Statistics as saying that 42 per cent of Sri Lanka’s estimated 21 million people were living in poverty in the wake of the economic crisis.
According to the study, around 3 million people lived below the poverty line in 2019, but the number rose to 9.6 million in October 2022.
The island nation of 22 million people faced its worst economic crisis in seven decades and this year plunged into financial and political chaos.
The country has been unable to afford major imports including fuel, fertilizers and medicine.
The economy of the South Asian nation, which relied heavily on tourism for foreign currencies, including the US dollar, was hit hard by border restrictions after the Covid volatility.