World Bank says climate change could cost Sri Lanka 7.0 percent of GDP

The World Bank

Sri Lanka’s vulnerability to risks arising from climate change could cost the island country 7.0 percent of GDP, a World Bank official, quoted by the government information department, said on Wednesday.

World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough said that according to a recent World Bank report launched last week in Colombo, rising temperatures and changing monsoon rainfall patterns from climate change could cost Sri Lanka 7.0 percent of GDP and depress the living standards of nearly half the country’s population by 2050.

“These events have an enormous impact on those who are directly affected, and the impacts are felt indirectly by all of us,” the World Bank official said.

Sri Lanka in both 2016 and 2017 experienced devastating floods and droughts.

Dr. Idah added that Sri Lanka had put in place extensive programs to respond to disasters and the government and development partners were now increasingly able to forecast disasters and provide immediate assistance to those affected.

However, more can be done to coordinate these efforts and ensure that disaster-affected households are supported until they fully recover. she said.

Sri Lanka’s annual south west monsoons have claimed hundreds of lives in the recent past while the drought has also left thousands of families affected.

The floods which hit the island country in 2017 claimed over 200 lives and displaced over 600,000 people while the floods in 2016 claimed over 150 lives and affected over half a million people.