According to The World Bank, poverty rates in Sri Lanka have doubled between 2021 and 2022, rising from 13.1% to 25.0%. Within a year, 2.5 million people have fallen into poverty, leading to reduced spending in crucial areas like health care and education. This increase in multidimensional poverty necessitates immediate attention, as inflation stands at approximately 46%. While the country’s economic outlook may be dim, global organizations such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations (U.N.), alongside local initiatives like Prithipura Communities, offer avenues for support and assistance through various fundraisers and campaigns.
Established in 1964, Prithipura Communities is an NGO in Sri Lanka originally focused on aiding disabled children. Over the years, its scope has expanded to support children and families affected by the country’s social, political and economic challenges. Presently, Prithipura is actively involved in the “Cost of Living Crisis Appeal” project, accepting donations to provide food, education and health care services to those in need. The organization also offers opportunities for volunteering, providing assistance with visas for those willing to contribute on-site. Additionally, corporations such as The Emirates Airline and Maze have formed partnerships with Prithipura Communities, contributing to efforts.
UNDP Sri Lanka
The development program of the U.N. (UNDP) Sri Lanka has launched a crowdfunding platform called “Rebuild Sri Lanka” with the aim of reconstructing the country’s infrastructure. Through this initiative, individuals can donate and support the health care and food sectors. Furthermore, the UNDP provides farmers with seeds and farming equipment to enhance the agricultural supply chain. The campaign has garnered support from various corporate institutions such as Hema Holdings PLC, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, Brandix Apparel Limited, Citi Foundation and Amana Bank. UNDP Sri Lanka also offers career opportunities and regular updates for those interested in contributing to the cause.
UNICEF Sri Lanka
With nearly half of Sri Lanka’s children requiring humanitarian assistance, UNICEF plays a vital role in child care and positive impact. Through its Sri Lanka branch, it provides opportunities for individuals worldwide to support the country. Donations made through the organization’s website directly contribute to helping children in Sri Lanka thrive and reach their full potential. Additionally, people can sign petitions, volunteer and spread awareness through social media. UNICEF’s current mission aims to raise $25 million to assist 1.7 million children in the country.
Sri Lanka’s multidimensional poverty crisis demands urgent attention and international support. Organizations like UNICEF, the U.N. and Prithipura Communities are exemplary leaders in driving positive change. Other avenues for support include Give2Asia, WFP and Red Cross Sri Lanka, which offer accessible projects and initiatives online. By offering guidance and opportunities to help Sri Lanka, these organizations foster unity, compassion and progress on a global scale.
– Sebastián Garcés