Sri Lanka

Despite Sri Lanka’s status as South Asia’s first middle-income country, significant inequalities remain. Sadly, amid the devastating COVID-19 pandemic that has shrunk the country’s economy by 3.6% in 2020, these inequalities have only worsened.

Outdoor image with trees and women looking into distance, Sri Lanka

Following three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka was the first South Asian nation to become a middle-income country. However, a large proportion of the population are still vulnerable and large pockets of poverty remain, particularly in the war-affected north and east areas, and in the deep rural south. Moreover, gender inequality remains a challenge, with the female labour force participation in Sri Lanka in decline.

Despite economic growth, significant inequalities remain in Sri Lanka and a large share of the population continues to live in poverty.

Our focus areas

Despite successful economic progress in some areas, a large share of the population subsists on little more than the poverty line. Without equitable access to education, healthcare and jobs, those most vulnerable are trapped in a cycle of poverty and are prevented from realising their full potential.

children in a circle at workshop in Sri Lanka

What we are doing

  • COVID-19

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working with a local partner to strengthen community engagement; mobilising and training community leaders - including faith leaders, women leaders, teachers and youth, on COVID-19 prevention, addressing stigma and discrimination. The project is also installing handwashing facilities to enable good hygiene practices.

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  • Mental health

    The Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 devastated the nation and brought about a period of tension and uncertainty in the communities affected. We are providing psycho-social support to survivors, family members and the wider community in two severely affected areas - Negombo and Batticaloa. The project focuses on awareness-raising on the impact of trauma, support groups and critical psychological services, including counselling.

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