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'China's Zero Covid Policy completely…': What Premiere Li Qiang had to say

Zero Covid strategy followed by the country for over three years which hurt its economic growth also led to public protests, was completely right and delivered highly effective outcomes. This comes even as China continues to record a significant rise in influenza cases.

Notably China has also seen some of the biggest waves of Covid pandemic.  However, the stringent restrictions under the Zero Covid Policy had forced the residents of the country to take to streets in protests after a fire accident killed several stuck in a  building owing to the policy.  "For over three years, under the leadership of the Communist Party, the Chinese people have united in fighting Covid-19, and now we have achieved a major and decisive victory against the disease," Li said and avoided using the term zero Covid. "China is a country with a large population and unbalanced development.

It took less than two months for it to achieve a smooth transition in its response to the disease and to restore normal socioeconomic order. It is indeed a remarkable achievement," Li said.

He said China's Covid-19 strategy is completely right and its response is highly effective. Under the 'zero Covid' policy, China completely insulated itself from the world for over three years and finally lifted it early this year resuming normal international travel links.

Besides causing rare public protests, including calls for Chinese President Xi Jinping to quit, the policy was largely attributed to the slowdown of the world’s second-largest economy to three per cent, the slowest in decades. The sudden lifting of restrictions in December last also caused a massive upsurge of Omicron variant infections leading to a heavy death toll, especially among the unvaccinated

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Masahiro Nozaki - Peter Breuer - Anti-Corruption & Governance reforms are critical – IMF - - Sri Lanka
Anti-Corruption & Governance reforms are critical – IMF
COLOMBO (News 1st); The International Monetary Fund has emphasized the importance of anti-corruption and governance reforms as a central pillar of the EFF-supported program as they are indispensable to ensure the hard-won gains from the reforms benefit the Sri Lankan people.In a statement issued ahead of the IMF press briefing on Tuesday (21) morning, Peter Breuer, Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka & Masahiro Nozaki, Mission Chief for Sri Lanka noted that Sri Lankan authorities have committed to fundamentally improve public financial management and strengthen the anti-corruption legal framework in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.The reform program supported under the EFF arrangement is built on strong policy measures and prioritizes:(i) an ambitious revenue-based fiscal consolidation, accompanied by stronger social safety nets, fiscal institutional reforms, and cost-recovery based energy pricing to ensure the state’s ability to support all its essential expenditures;(ii) restoration of public debt sustainability, including through a debt restructuring to ensure stable financing of the government’s operations;(iii) a multi-pronged strategy to restore price stability and rebuild reserves under greater exchange rate flexibility in order to alleviate the burden of inflation, particularly on the poor, to foster an environment of investment and growth, and to ensure Sri Lanka's ability to purchase essential goods from abroad;(iv) policies to safeguard financial sector stability to ensure that the financial sector can play its key role in supporting economic growth; and(v) structural reforms to address corruption vulnerabilities and enhance growth. It is now essential to continue the reform momentum
Ranil Wickremesinghe - Temple Trees - Sri Lanka will be led to the path of success – President - - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will be led to the path of success – President
PMD: President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the Royal College cricket team’s effective captaincy ultimately led to the team’s victory at a time when all of the matches were being lost and that his effort is to lift the defeated country to the path of victory similar to what the captain of the Royal College cricket team did.The President recalled that when he assumed office last July, the country was experiencing numerous crises such as shortage of fuel, food, and fertilizer. He compared this to the Royal team, which had suffered a string of defeats, and claimed that many people believed the country would not be able to recover.However, President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that his team was able to change that situation and create economic stability in the country in the last seven months and emphasized that Sri Lanka is no longer a bankrupt state.President Ranil Wickremesinghe made this statement while addressing the 32nd Interact District Conference held at Temple Trees on Sunday morning (19).He said that everyone would be able to witness a developing country in the next two years, and to make Sri Lanka the most prosperous country in the region, it is necessary to build the economy in addition to stabilizing it today.The President added that the 25-year plan to make Sri Lanka a successful nation by 2048 has already been implemented and it can only be achieved with the commitment of the current youth.This conference was organized by St.
Financial Literacy Survey: 42% financially illiterate - - Sri Lanka
Financial Literacy Survey: 42% financially illiterate
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The first ever nationwide survey of financial literacy by the Central Bank has found that 42% of Sri Lankan adults are financially illiterate.‘Financial Literacy Survey Sri Lanka – 2021’, a publication of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, is now available for public access.The Regional Development Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, with the assistance of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program – conducted the first-ever countrywide Financial Literacy Survey in Sri Lanka, as part of the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy of Sri Lanka. The key objective of the survey was to assess the level of financial literacy across the population to formulate appropriate policy measures.The survey focused on the elements of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior within the concept of financial literacy and this publication consists of the key survey findings.The survey findings reveal that 57.9 percent of adults are financially literate in Sri Lanka. Further, the findings imply that the level of financial literacy varies across different segments of the population, suggesting the need for targeted policy interventions. For instance, despite gender parity in education, the survey notes gender disparity in financial literacy.This publication is a useful collection of information for those who are interested in the field of financial inclusion.Writer: Teena Marian
Food Crisis: Estate Sector worst affected, says WFP -
Food Crisis: Estate Sector worst affected, says WFP
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The World Food Program in its report for September 2022 reported that the highest level of acute food insecurity is in the Estate sector.The World Food Program has highlighted the tea production sector as having the  highest level of acute food insecurity in the Estate sector.It is also recorded and among female-headed households, households with no education, and Samurdhi programme beneficiaries.A severe macroeconomic crisis caused acute shortages and spikes in the prices of essential products, including medicines, food, agricultural inputs and fuel, bringing the overall economic activities to a standstill, with major disruptions to agricultural production, said the WFP.It added that acute food insecurity has risen dramatically, as a result of import shortages, soaring prices, livelihood disruptions, reduced household purchasing power and exhaustion of less severe household coping strategies. The WFP said that Food and livelihood-related coping strategies are being widely adopted, including cutting the number of meals consumed in a day, reducing meal sizes, spending savings, and purchasing food on credit. As households exhaust these strategies, more of them are likely to engage in severe means of coping with negative knock-on consequences for food security over the medium term.The World Food Program warned that the situation is likely to deteriorate during the lean season from October 2022 to February 2023.It added that over 6.2 million people (28 percent of the population) are estimated to be moderately acute food insecure and 66 000 people to be severely acute food insecure. Immediate food assistance and livelihood programmes are essential for moderately and severely acute food insecure
Female-headed homes hard hit by acute food insecurity in Sri Lanka - - Usa - Sri Lanka - Britain - Eu
Female-headed homes hard hit by acute food insecurity in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Asia’s highest inflation rates and ongoing fuel scarcity continue to threaten food security in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka continues to experience an unprecedented economic crisis with high inflation, rising commodity prices, power shortages and scarcity of fuel.The World Food Program said that Asia’s highest inflation rates and ongoing fuel scarcity continue to threaten food security in Sri Lanka. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), an estimated 6.2 million people in Sri Lanka are facing moderate to severe acute food insecurity, with one in every four households applying negative coping strategies such as reducing the number of meals per day, reducing expenses on other essential things such as healthcare or withdrawing children from school. Female-headed households are seen to be particularly hard it, as are the urban poor and people working in the estate-sector.The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that given the deteriorating food security and nutrition situation in Sri Lanka and the strong likelihood that the upcoming Maha season will not produce sufficient yields, several countries have pledged further assistance, especially towards improving food security and the critical inputs for the agriculture sector. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional US$20 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing USAID’s total assistance to nearly US$92 million since June of this year. The United Kingdom pledged £3 million in lifesaving support going mostly toward food security and supporting farmers, while the EU released €1.5 million in humanitarian aid which will mainly be utilized for multipurpose cash assistance.The final