The Sri Lankan Economic Crisis
Help us help them
The island nation of Sri Lanka is in the midst of one of the worst economic crises it's ever seen. It has just defaulted on its foreign debts for the first time since its independence, and the country's 22 million people are facing crippling 12-hour power cuts, and an extreme scarcity of food, fuel and other essential items such as medicines.

With no fuel and no money for food, HG Indrani and her family of nine trudged for an hour to a community kitchen in Colombo in hopes of finding a simple vegetarian meal. Rampant food inflation and chronic shortages of cooking gas and petrol are making daily life a battle for millions in the midst of Sri Lanka's worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

"There is no income," said Indrani, one of the hundreds queueing in the midday sun at a makeshift kitchen run by a church. "There is no food most of the time. We have been suffering a lot." Two dozen volunteers boil rice, dice onions and scrape the flesh from coconuts as they cook over open fires due to the shortage of gas in the space on the flat roof of the church near Sri Lanka's Parliament.

"The need is so great," said Akila Alles, the chief operating officer of the Bethany Christian Life Centre, which set up kitchens at 12 of its churches and served food to about 1,500 people each day since June. "Inflation is so high, people can't afford to eat. Without gas, people can't cook, and without transport, people can't work." Conditions are grim enough that more than five million Sri Lankans have reported being forced to skip meals, according to the World Food Program.

The Sharing Hands Foundation has committed to the following projects for now and will expand our operations as we collect more funds. We will look into other needs that we can commit to and keep you informed. We are also open to suggestions. (sl-crisis@sharinghandsfoundation.org) Please check this site for updates.
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Coconut Charcoal Stove
This coconut charcoal stove was invented and manufactured by a poor entrepreneur from Gampaha, Sri Lanka. It is ideal for low income families living in flats for their cooking where there is no gas and cooking with firewood is not an option. There is a built in fan that regulates the flame. It is "Fuss Free", smoke free and soot free. Our cost is Rs. 5,500 (approximately US$16.00). We are distributing 50 of these units.
Soup Kitchens
Soup kitchens in crisis-hit Sri Lanka feeding the poor. Food inflation and chronic shortages of cooking gas and petrol make daily life a battle for millions in the island nation. As prices keep increasing, healthy meals are out of reach, more than two thirds of families are struggling to feed themselves. Even a meal of only rice and gravy is out of reach for most. Pregnant mothers need to eat nutritious meals every day, but find it harder and harder to afford the basics, putting both their own and their children's health at risk. So far we have organized two soup kitchens and participating with an existing one.
For details of the soup kitchens Click Here. Soup Kitchen details
We supplied food and dry rations to over 700 poor families Click Here to see pictures and details
Essential Medical Supplies
Sri Lankan medicine shortage a death sentence for some, doctors say. A shortage of medicine caused by an economic crisis in Sri Lanka is causing deaths, doctors said, as hospitals are forced to postpone life-saving procedures for their patients because they do not have the necessary drugs.

Sri Lanka imports more than 80% of its medical supplies but with no foreign currency reserves because of the crisis, essential medications have disappeared from shelves and the healthcare system is collapsing. Entire wards are dark and nearly empty in Sri Lanka's largest hospital, its few remaining patients leaving untreated and still in pain, and doctors prevented from even arriving for their shifts. Shortages leave bankrupt Sri Lanka's hospitals empty. We are working with hospitals and pharmacies to see what we can do to help.