UN concerned over impact of austerity measures in Sri Lanka

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk raised concerns over the impact of austerity measures in Sri Lanka.

He said that while Sri Lanka’s macro-economic situation has improved, the impacts of the economic crisis together with associated austerity measures are affecting the poorest and already marginalized groups the most.

“Between 2021 and 2023, the poverty rate doubled from 13.1 to 25.9 per cent and is expected to remain at such levels over the next few years,” he told the UN Human Rights Council, Tuesday.

He was speaking while delivering the global update at the 56th session of the Human Rights Council.

“Globally, inequality has seen the largest increase in three decades, as poorer countries took a bigger economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic compared to richer countries,” Türk said.

According to Oxfam, the wealth of the world’s five richest billionaires has more than doubled since the start of this decade, while 60 per cent of humanity has grown poorer.

Türk said that 4.8 billion people are poorer than they were in 2019 and the wealth gap between men and women globally was 100 trillion USD.