Showing posts from June, 2009

Protecting the Poor in Sri Lanka in crisis and beyond

Was at a workshop organised on the above subject by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and the World Bank Sri Lanka mission. Think this is part of a series of WB/IPS collaborations. What was disturbing in the discussion of safety nets was the underlying assumption (as I understood Shekar Shah of the World Bank to say) that safety nets would give the opportunity for the politicians to carry on business as usual. It was interesting that the only politican present was against safety nets - but that is almost a different story. My questions are can poverty not be reduced without safety nets? and doesn't the current multiple crisis situation the world is facing, provide the opportunity and the need to rethink business as usual? It is true Sri Lanka has been having safety nets since, as one presenter pointed out, World War II. But surely our much celebrated record of MDGs is a result not of safety nets, but of social policies concerned with equity and redistribution of resour…