In Sri Lanka a shortage of foreign currency has caused shortages of food, medicines and other essential items for the island nation of 21 million people.
The country's government declared a state of emergency over the food shortages on August 31 and imposed rationing and forced farmers to sell their rice to a state agency and seized some from private warehouses. During rationing, state stores sold only one kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of rice for each person. Sugar and lentils were similarly rationed. Virtually all private traders withdrew from the market. But the shortages worsened.