The possibility of any success in Iraqi mediation    Flight from cities due to COVID-19 short-lived, says flagship UN-Habitat report    A visionary 'blue transformation' strategy to enhance underwater food systems    With 41% Increase in 5G Towers, CITC Announces Full ICT Readiness to Serve Pilgrims Ahead of 2022 Hajj Season    Agricultural Development Fund Receives Delegation from IFAD    Supreme Court: Tomorrow is 1st Day of Dhu Al-Hijjah    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives Written Message from Emir of Qatar    Saudi, Chinese envoys discuss cooperation to reduce climate change    Saudis constitute 63.6% of 34 million population; 8.6% fall in number of expats by middle of 2021    Iraqi pilgrim arrives in Makkah, walking on foot for 11 months from Britain to perform Hajj    DGDA launches multi-course 'Program Your Passion' initiative    SR10,000 fine for bid to perform Hajj without permit    Five era-defining artworks commissioned for iconic new cultural destination 'Wadi AlFann'    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 11,727 Points    UN rights office in probe call after Morocco-Spain migrant deaths, Texas tragedy    ZATCA denies rumors on VAT exemption certificate    GDNC Foils Attempt to Smuggle over 3.5 Million Amphetamine Pills    Health Minister Launches "Holodoctor" Service for Pilgrims    Saudi Arabia's new companies' law highly flexible, embraces international best practices    Trump urged armed supporters to storm Capitol, aide testifies    Mawani Meets ISO Standards in Risk Management and Business Continuity Management    Over 312,000 Pilgrims Arrived in Madinah    HRH Crown Prince Congratulates President of Democratic Republic of Congo on Independence Day    Red Sea Fund Opens Its Third Cycle for Production Funding    Saudi Arabia Participates in UN Ocean Conference in Portugal    SFDA warns against herbal product 'Montalin Jamu' due to containing active medicinal ingredients    SFDA Warns Against Herbal Product "Montalin Jamu" Due to Containing Active Medicinal Ingredients    OIC Secretary General Meets Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan    Al-Hilal lifts MBS League title for 3rd time in a row, beating Al-Faisaly    Al-Ahli relegated for first time in history    Ithra expands 'iRead' competition to participants from all Arab countries    Saudi Arabia's women's badminton championship begins with participation of 60 players    NEOM, McLaren Racing announce strategic title partnership to drive innovation in electric motorsport    Morocco and Iraq to the finals of Arab Futsal in Dammam on Tuesday    Saudi US Joint Exhibition on Photography Concludes in Tabuk    Venice-based art exhibition sheds light on upcoming Saudi talents    Makkah Municipality offers animal sacrifices permitting service through Baladi platform    First Saudi-American Joint Exhibition of Photography held in Tabuk Region    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    Saudi National Olympic Team Crowned AFC U23 Asian Cup    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Human rights must be at heart of solution to Sri Lanka crisis: UN coordinator
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 05 - 2022

The severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka shows no signs of ending any time soon, with the country's newly installed Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, warning of more difficult days ahead.
Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, the most senior UN official in Sri Lanka, told UN News that, amid violent protests and the imposition of a state of emergency, any solution must involve a robust democracy and respect for human rights.
"Since the start of the crisis, the UN has tracked over 1000 protests. Initially these were peaceful, driven by citizen participation, and characterized by calls for a change of the government: they were joined by political parties, trade unions, student unions, clergy and other interest groups.
But as the shortage of gas and fuel became more prominent, we started witnessing violent clashes. Some 60 houses were torched, around eight people killed, and several more injured.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on the authorities to independently, thoroughly, and transparently investigate all the attacks that have occurred especially on the peaceful protesters.
There needs to be a meaningful and inclusive dialogue with all parts of society, to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the people. Political stability is critical to create an environment for negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which can then set up the way forward for economic recovery.
We hope that Sri Lanka will find a peaceful solution to the current crisis soon, to alleviate the people's suffering, strengthen democracy and human rights, and prevent further violence.
The UN has been working consistently, for many months, to help Sri Lanka to cope. We have tried to support and reduce the impact on the most vulnerable groups, and we are working very closely with the international financial institutes like the World Bank and IMF, to help ensure their support in a coordinated way.
It's imperative that we prevent a humanitarian crisis, so we need to be making interventions now.
The UN has focused its intervention on four critical areas: health, food security, social protection, and economic policy advice.
On health, we are supporting the ministry of health to closely monitor the available medical supply, and in coordinating the procurement of urgently needed medicine and medical supplies from development partners, including donations to bridge the immediate gaps: because of a lack of foreign currency, the country cannot purchase medicine.
On food security, we are helping farmers to adopt good agricultural practices, and providing cash transfers, whilst, with regards to social protection, we are advising the government to prioritize certain measures, and how to make the best of the system that is already in place.
The fourth theme is macro-economic policy advice. The UN has provided a policy memo with key measures to support macro-economic stabilization and debt sustainability, to support the government in its discussions with the IMF, and other international financial institutions.
The technical part of the government is still functioning, and my colleagues from all the UN agencies continue to work with their counterparts in the ministries. We are discussing sources of innovative financing, which will help Sri Lanka to recover.
I hope that there will soon be a government cabinet in place, and that our work will continue, but on the technical level, I think we are all still working quite closely.
Our work is not only about addressing the immediate needs of the population but also about preventing deep crises. So, we must help to avoid Sri Lanka going backward in areas such as access to health and education.
Despite what is currently happening, the country is a model in Southeast Asia, so we need to protect whatever gains have been there: this crisis is not only affecting the traditionally vulnerable groups, but also the middle class and lower middle class, which is sliding into the vulnerable category as well.
We all know the history of Sri Lanka, so we have to maintain a vision of how to ensure social cohesion and resilience at a community level, and we are supporting dedicated policy and research within the Ministry of Finance, focussing on medium-term policy measures.
Finally, we also recognize that are some broader political and systematic root causes that have perpetrated discrimination, and undermined human rights and these need to be addressed continuously. To that end, we are finalizing the next United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for Sri Lanka, which covers the years from 2023 to 2027, and includes a number of strategies and programs to help the country to build a more sustainable and inclusive economy that benefits the people and the planet." — UN News

Clic here to read the story from its source.