KATHMANDU, MAY 27
The civil society activists of South Asia have highlighted the emerging economic crises and inequality in South Asia.
During the conclusion of the sixth annual general assembly of South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) held here today, social activists, right activists and experts of South Asia urged concerned stakeholders to take seriously the economic, political and social crises and revival of the economy post-COVID.
The participants urged the governments of the respective countries to introduce effective policies and programmes to end discrimination and deprivation faced by the women, Dalits and marginalised communities to ensure social justice and equality.
A special presentation was made on economic, political and humanitarian turmoil in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. An activist from Afghanistan seeking anonymity shared that the economy, politics and social system of the country have crumbled and many Afghanis have been displaced after Taliban came into power and called for attention of the international community for quick resolution to the problems.
Likewise, highlighting the financial downturn of Sri Lanka, Nimalka Fernando, a lawyer and social activist, said the citizens of Sri Lanka are in extreme distress. “We are in the worst economic crisis with uncontrollable inflation, shortage of food, fuel and medicines, with the vulnerable community suffering the most,” said Fernando, adding, “Corrupt governance, wrong financial policy compounded by internal and external debts and lack of remittance have exacerbated the economic woes of Sri Lanka.”
Faruq Tariq from Pakistan urged the governments of the South Asia region to adopt open border and open trade policies to solve the economic crises and poverty, which have worsened due to the COV- ID pandemic.
The programme had been conducted through a hybrid model, with representatives the South Asian countries participating in-person as well as virtually.
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu Declaration 2022 was also adopted – ranging from committing to build alternative political and social justice to strengthen the quest for a more equitable and dignified life, the need for agrarian reforms to ensure food sovereignty across the region, to ensuring a minimum living wage and job security for all workers in the South Asia region.