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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Coping Strategies amongst Rural Poor in Sri Lanka

8th June 2010, 17:30 to 18:30, Ustinov Room, Van Mildert College, Dr M M Gunatilake, College Fellow at Van Mildert College

The proportion of rural people of Sri Lanka is still very high and majority of rural people is poor due to number of reasons. One of the many reasons is, rural farm households face recurrent income losses (crop failures) due to unfavourable climatic conditions and natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and pest and wild animal attacks.

Surprisingly, as the study revealed, mild droughts are the main vulnerability context and most difficult to cope with in comparison to severe droughts and other kind of shocks. Even though, variety of coping strategies is being applied by farm households in dealing with drought prone vulnerability, their ability to cope with sudden economic shocks is severely limited.

Furthermore, it is possible to observe that the majority of poor farm households is heavily rely on passive coping strategies rather than active strategies. In particular, labour adjustment coping strategies have not been reached to their potential level.