Sri Lanka Runs Out of Cash to Buy Basic Necessities as Dollar Crisis Worsens

Sri Lanka has ran out of cash to import fuel and other basic goods as global prices skyrocket in the middle of the island’s worsening foreign exchange crisis.

Bus operators said only a quarter of their fleet of 20,000 vehicles were able to run due to the lack of diesel. Drivers also reported queuing for seven hours to get filled up at gas stations.

Electricity was also crippled by the fuel shortage. The Public Utilities Commission said it approved rationing energy supplies starting Wednesday as power stations run out of fuel.

“What we are facing is not an issue of electricity capacity, but a foreign exchange crisis,” the regulatory commission said, noting that the country is struggling to find dollars to finance imports.

The country has been experiencing daily power cuts of over five hours this week, while warnings are being issued regarding possible water disruptions.

Meanwhile, food items have also grown more expensive in Sri Lanka. Some citizens complained of struggling to find milk sachets, whose prices have at least doubled, according to interviews by the Guardian.

Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves fell by 70 percent over the past two years in one of its worst crises due to several factors, including the slowdown of its tourism sector and ill-advised policies.

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