A Note on the Sri Lankan Experience in Poverty Reduction

Naranjana Gunatellike


‘Poverty’ is a complex, multifaceted and much investigated
subject which has generated an colossal amount of literature. The
situation in relation to Sri Lanka is no different—both in relation to
the complexity of the subject and the investigation and literature it
has generated. Within the international debates, Sri Lanka has been used
extensively as a case study as in the early work on the basic needs and
growth versus welfare debates, UNICEF’s work on Adjustment with a Human
Face and more recently in the World Bank’s Voices of the Poor
qualitative study. The domestic research and literature has been as
prolific, the most recent group being the background material for the
Framework on Poverty Reduction.1 This paper will not attempt to
summarise the existing debates and literature or provide a comprehensive
overview to poverty and its many facets in Sri Lanka. Instead it will
briefly place Sri Lanka in the context of South Asia and look at the
policy framework which brought about the present situation and the
ongoing and envisaged policy changes. Finally it will highlight a few
selected issues which are of growing interest and have received
relatively less attention. A selected bibliography is provided at the

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v39i4IIpp.1193-1204


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