China to send urgent humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka

China to send urgent humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka

China has pledged urgent emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris met with the Ambassador of China, Qi Zhenhong, at the Foreign Ministry.

While welcoming the Ambassador, Minister Peiris appreciated China’s continued assistance to Sri Lanka which had begun even before establishing formal diplomatic relations between the two countries. He also recalled the Chinese monuments erected in Sri Lanka with the funding of the Chinese Government.

The Foreign Minister also apprised the Ambassador of the current situation in the country and the shortage of energy which has adversely affected the economy of Sri Lanka. He briefed the Ambassador on the measures which are being put in place by the Government to immediately overcome the prevailing situation, including the ongoing discussion with the IMF for financial assistance as well as reformulating Sri Lanka’s debt and in that context Minister Peiris requested further assistance from China, particularly in the field of bridging finance during a difficult time.

The Ambassador of China stated that the Embassy of China in Colombo and Beijing were closely monitoring the evolving situation in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Qi assured that the Chinese Government would continue extending assistance to Sri Lanka in every possible way including direct Chinese Government support, regional Government support and support through Red Cross China.

The China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) has pledged an urgent emergency humanitarian aid of RMB 200 million to Sri Lanka, including 5000 tonnes of rice (with the previously announced 2000 tonnes), pharmaceuticals, production materials and other essentials. Furthermore, the Yunnan Province has announced a donation of RMB 1.5 million worth of food packages to Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister extended Sri Lanka’s profound gratitude to the Government of China for the unwavering and consistent support. The discussions also focused on people to people exchanges, support at the multilateral fora, poverty alleviation, among others.

Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officials of the Chinese Embassy were present during the meeting. (Colombo Gazette)

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