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How Sri Lanka’s Financial Crisis Could Become the World’s

The calamity gripping the island nation’s 23 million people threatens to sweep up hundreds of millions more across five other countries.

People wait in line to buy kerosene at a gas station in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on June 13. 

People wait in line to buy kerosene at a gas station in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on June 13. 

Photographer: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg

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As the US, UK and other wealthy nations grouse about the prospect of stagflation and risk of recession, people in some emerging nations are facing more perilous questions about how to find medicine to stay alive. A financial crisis gripping Sri Lanka’s 23 million people threatens to spread across the developing world and sweep up hundreds of millions more.