UK provides lifesaving aid for the most vulnerable in Sri Lanka

UK provides lifesaving aid for the most vulnerable in Sri Lanka

The UK is providing urgent food and farming support to Sri Lankans hit hardest by the economic crisis, UK Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia, and the UN, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon said.

More than one third of people are struggling to eat and are suffering shortages of fuel, power, and medicines. Sri Lanka has the fifth largest food price inflation in the world, up 93.7% last month, with rice costing 150% more than this time last year.

At a meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry at the UN General Assembly, Lord Tariq Ahmad set out the UK’s package of £3 million lifesaving support.

The funding will be delivered through Red Cross and UN partners. It will provide access to food, seeds, and tools to help grow crops as well as mental health care, including for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

“The UK stands by the people of Sri Lanka who are facing such a challenging time. The ongoing crisis is deeply concerning with so many in dire need of help.We are providing £3 million of lifesaving support to the most vulnerable and will continue to work with international partners to help Sri Lanka,” Lord Tariq Ahmad said.

This new funding is just part of the UK’s ongoing support to Sri Lanka. The UK is already providing support through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. The UK is the largest donor to the CERF, contributing more than $1.7bn to the fund since its inception in 2006 and it has already provided $5m to Sri Lanka. The Asian Development Bank and World Bank are providing emergency assistance under a joint action plan to help reduce the impact of economic crisis on the people of Sri Lanka.

The new package is in addition to the UK’s £11.3 million Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme (2022-2025) for Sri Lanka which focusses on addressing the legacy of conflict in the country.

The people of the UK and Sri Lanka share close ties, with a large diaspora community in the UK, and 65,000 British visitors to the island since January 2022. (Colombo Gazette)

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