US to give $6 million in emergency aid to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: The US on Thursday announced that it will provide $6 million in emergency assistance to Sri Lanka to address the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities impacted by the country’s economic crisis.
The US Embassy in Colombo said the new funding will also provide technical assistance to the Sri Lankan government as it implements economic and financial reform measures to stabilize the economy, in line with with the expected package of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US Embassy in Colombo said in a statement.
“The United States is committed to supporting the people of Sri Lanka as they face today’s economic and political challenges. As a longstanding development partner, we will continue to support efforts to promote sustainable economic growth and good governance,” said Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
This emergency funding, through the development arm of the United States government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is intended to respond to emerging or unforeseen complex crises abroad. . Part of this funding will go to USAID’s Social Reconciliation and Engagement (SCORE) project to support small-scale agricultural productivity and micro-enterprises in communities with high poverty rates and high poverty rates. especially affected by the crisis.
This funding will also support public sector efficiency and resource management through a USAID project to drive outcomes in trade, national spending, and revenue.
“The new $6 million in support is part of a much larger package of foreign assistance to Sri Lanka from the American people to meet current needs. That assistance is part of a shared history that has been witnessed. ​The United States has provided more than $2 billion in economic and humanitarian assistance since 1956,” the statement said.
The United States will continue to add significant ongoing support and investment projects in Sri Lanka to help meet the immediate and long-term needs of the people of Sri Lanka. On Wednesday, the US announced a new $120 million loan to Sri Lanka to grow and support small and medium-sized businesses in the country.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948. The economic crisis has led to severe shortages of essential goods such as food and medicine. , gas and other fuels, toilet paper, and even matches.
The country is facing long queues to refuel at pumping stations as the government struggles to finance imports of fuel to maintain adequate reserves for a minimum of three months.
The near-bankrupt country, with a severe foreign currency crisis leading to foreign defaults, announced in April the suspension of paying nearly $7 billion in foreign debt due this year out of about $25 billion to due until 2026. Sri Lanka’s total external debt stands at $51 billion.

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