The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has accused Russia of causing unrest in Sri Lanka and around the world because of the blocking of food products during the invasion of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy said, “One of the major tactics Russia has used in their invasion of Ukraine is the creation of an “economic shock, several nations are experiencing food & fuel shortages because of the disruption in the supply chain have helped Russia’s agenda.
While highlighting the crisis in Sri Lanka in a recent address during the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, he further mentioned, “The shocking food & fuel price hikes led to a social explosion. No one knows now how it will come to end.”
War in Ukraine has left around 1.6 billion people in 94 nations exposed to at least one dimension of finance, food or energy crisis, with approximately 1.2 billion living in “perfect-storm” nations severely vulnerable.
Amid the ongoing protests, Sri Lanka’s now acting President, Wickremesinghe, stepped down from his post of Prime Minister because of the escalation in violence and protests in the nation.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since achieving independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of straight waves of COVID-19, intimidating to undo years of development. Notably, the lack of oil supply has pushed schools as well as government offices to close until further notice. Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.
Furthermore, amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the increase in hunger since the beginning of the war is only ascending. The number of severely food insecure people doubled from 135 million earlier to the pandemic, to 276 million over just two years. The ripple effects of the war could stretch this number to 323 million.