The GuardianThe Guardian

Milk sachets, chicken, fuel: basics slip out of reach for Sri Lankans as economic crisis bites

By Hannah Ellis-Petersen

02 Mar 2022 · 4 min read

In recent weeks, Shamla Laxman, 54, has been rising at dawn or staying out late at night. She is on the prowl for an item that has become rarer than gold dust in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital of Colombo in recent weeks: sachets of milk powder.

“These days it’s become impossible to find, and when you do find it in a shop, the prices are so expensive, double or triple what it was before, that I can’t afford it for my family,” said Laxman, who feeds a family of seven in her small house.

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