Britain will urgently send £3 million in food and agricultural support to Sri Lanka
Sat 24 September 2022 at 20:25 SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Colombo, 24 September: Britain’s Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia and the UN, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, announced on Friday that the UK is making urgent food and agricultural aid to Sri Lankans hardest hit by the economic crisis .
More than a third of people are struggling to eat and are suffering from shortages of fuel, electricity and medicines, the UK government said. Sri Lanka has the fifth-highest food price inflation in the world, up 93.7% last month, with rice costing 150% more than this time last year.
Meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry at the UN General Assembly on Friday, Lord Ahmad unveiled Britain’s £3million life-saving support package.
Funding comes from the Red Cross and UN partners. It will provide access to food, seeds and tools to support crop cultivation, as well as mental health care, including for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
“Britain stands by the people of Sri Lanka as they face such a challenging time. The ongoing crisis is deeply worrying as so many people are in dire need of assistance,” said UK Secretary of State for the Middle East, South Asia and the United Nations, Lord Tariq Ahmad from Wimbledon.
“We are providing £3million in life-saving aid to the most vulnerable and will continue to work with international partners to help Sri Lanka.”
“I am pleased to meet British Foreign Secretary Lord Tariq Ahmad. He informed me of £3million British aid to Sri Lanka. I thanked the British Government and updated him on steps towards reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said after the meeting.
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 CERF’s largest donor, having contributed more than US$1.7 billion to the fund since its inception in 2006, and has already provided US$5 million to Sri Lanka. The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are providing emergency assistance as part of a joint action plan to reduce the impact of the economic crisis on the people of Sri Lanka.
This new package complements the UK’s £11.3 million Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) program (2022-2025) for Sri Lanka, which focuses on tackling conflicts in the country.
The people of Britain and Sri Lanka have close ties with a large diaspora community in the UK and 65,000 British visitors to the island as of January 2022