US to give $6 million in emergency aid to crisis-hit Sri Lanka – Times of India

COLOMBO: The United States on Thursday announced that it will provide $6 million in emergency assistance to Sri Lanka to address the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable communities impacted by the country’s economic crisis.
This 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 an anticipated International Monetary Fund (IMF) package, the US embassy in Colombo said in a statement.
“The US is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people as they face today’s economic and political challenges. As a longstanding development partner, we will continue to champion efforts that promote sustainable economic growth and good governance,” said Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
This emergency funding through the US government’s development arm, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), responds to emerging or unforeseen complex crises overseas. Part of this funding will go to USAID’s social cohesion and reconciliation project (SCORE) to support small-scale agricultural productivity and microenterprises in communities that traditionally experience high poverty rates and are especially impacted by the crisis.
This funding will also support public sector efficiency and resource management through USAID’s project to accelerate results in trade, national expenditure, and revenue.
“The $6 million in new assistance is part of a much larger package of foreign assistance to Sri Lanka from the American people to meet the current need. That support is part of a shared history that has seen the United States provide over $2 billion in economic and humanitarian support since 1956,” the statement said.
The US will continue to add to its significant ongoing investments and assistance projects in Sri Lanka to help meet the immediate and long-term needs of the people of Sri Lanka. The US on Wednesday announced USD 120 million in new loans to Sri Lanka to grow and support small and medium-sized businesses in the country.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain 1948. The economic crisis has prompted an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and other fuel, toilet paper, and even matches.
The country is experiencing long queues for refueling at pumping stations as the government finds it difficult to finance fuel imports to retain a reserve adequate for a minimum of three months.
The nearly bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, announced in April that it is suspending nearly $7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about $25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt stands at $51 billion.

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