Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years, with its economy shrinking by 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, leaving millions of everyday Sri Lankans struggling to survive. The price of essential foods and medicines has risen sharply and inflation is running at more than 50%. There are widespread power cuts and the shortage of medicine has brought the health system to the verge of collapse. As we prepare ourselves for some trying times ahead, in the spirit of resilience and hope, we are also working continuously to do our part to help our fellow Sri Lankans come out of this tough period.
At Roar Global, one of our driving principles is to make a positive impact by supporting, helping and serving our team and community, and as a Sri Lankan company, we felt compelled to act. Hyperinflation, along with fuel shortages that have made the transportation of food nearly impossible, have many families increasingly going hungry. It has been reported that most Sri Lankans are already skipping meals or replacing nutritious food with cheaper, less healthy options. We wanted to address this in some way and, earlier this month, our team organised and distributed 120 ration packs to families who are in dire need.
“People are always at the heart of what we do at Roar Global, and it is the people of Sri Lanka who are now suffering. Therefore, it was imperative for us, especially as Sri Lankans, to do whatever we can to reach out to the people who need it most. I am especially grateful to our team for working together to organise these initiatives, and to our partners who have come together for a good cause.”
-Mustafa Kassim, Founder and CEO of Roar Global.
The ration packs our team organised included dry rations, school supplies and medicine. These essential items were then distributed, even in the midst of the fuel shortage, to families in and around Colombo, Nawalapitiya, Anuradhapura and Matale. It was very much a team effort, in which all our employees were able to nominate families who were going through a tough time during the crisis.
“It was so amazing to see how the entire team of Roar Global came together in order to make this ration distribution successful. With their help, we were able to reach out to 120 families, many who are struggling due to issues such as loss of income and health problems. I am so proud of the Roar team that, even with the prevailing transport issues, were able to ensure that these families got the ration packs during one of the most difficult weeks of this crisis.”
- Ishani Karunadasa, Head of HR at Roar Global
It has become the norm for long queues of vehicles to be lining almost every street of Colombo for very limited supplies of petrol and diesel at fuel stations. Earlier this month, one queue that started on a parallel road ended very close to our office in Colombo. It was a Friday afternoon and most vehicle owners were prepared to stay there overnight. Our team was quick to respond, buying packets of Milo drinks and giving them to those who were in the queue with the hope that they would give them a little boost of energy as they waited.
One of the other most adverse consequences of the current economic crisis is the dire shortage of medicine and medical equipment. According to the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), the price of medicine has nearly quadrupled in the last two months, and the dollar crunch the country is currently facing has compelled some importers to stop bringing down these items temporarily. This has left many Sri Lankans who require essential medicines in despair, and healthcare workers have raised serious concerns about the impending loss of lives, especially among the most vulnerable. In consultation with Dr. Lakith Peiris from Hemas Holdings alongside the Ministry of Health, we have been able to provide some much needed support to the healthcare system.
“The impact that the current economic crisis has had on the healthcare system in Sri Lanka is immense. That is why we are grateful to Roar Global for assisting us at such a critical time, as when we need all the support and help we can get,”
- Dr. Anver Hamdani, Director of Medical Technology Services, Ministry of Health.
“During these unprecedented times we were fortunate to be in position to strategically grow our business, and in turn we were happy to partner with the Sri Lanka Singapore Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Health to make a sustainable and impactful difference through these programs.”
- Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, President of the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council and Director of Roar Global.
These are three small initiatives executed by our team with the hope that this, even in a small way, may provide some relief to those experiencing great difficulties during this time. With no immediate solutions to the crisis in sight, we call on our partners and friends to take action during this time to help in whichever way possible. Even the smallest act of kindness can have a tremendous impact, therefore, we encourage anyone who is able to to donate and help their community in any way that they can.