The Asia Development Bank has said in a new report that Sri Lanka is one of the countries in South Asia whose poor would suffer if prices of commodities like wheat rise further.
It said targeted food subsidies would help South Asia cope with future food price spikes.
South Asia’s high population growth rates and the high number of people already living on or close to the extreme poverty line of 1.25 US dollars a day mean it is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to food price shocks.
The ADB reports said spending on food already accounts for half the total budget of low-income households.
The report – Food Price Escalation in South Asia – A Serious and Growing Concern - notes that after peaks in 2008 and 2011, prices of key food commodities have eased somewhat, although the rate of decline has been slower in South Asia than the international average.