Sri Lanka policies help aged: UN backed study

Oct 02, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s decades long spending in education and health has made the lot of the aged among the best in Asia, a United Nations backed study has found. A study by HelpAge International, a charity which constructed a ‘Global AgeWatch Index has ranked Sri Lanka fourth in Asia after Japan, Israel and China as a place for older people to live, though it was placed in 36th position globally among 91 countries surveyed.

Sri Lanka was ahead of countries with higher levels of per capita gross domestic product like South Korea (67), Thailand (42) and Vietnam (53).

“In Sri Lanka (36), long-term investments in education and health have had a lifetime benefit for many of today’s older population,” the study said.

“Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Chile and New Zealand, for example, do disproportionately better in the Global AgeWatch Index than their GDPs would suggest.”

Sri Lanka has tax-payer funded education and health services which are accessible to all, regardless of means.

Sri Lanka was placed 37 in employment and education for old people, 45 for health status but lagged at 67 in terms of income security with pension benefits still not widespr