The UK is providing urgent food and farming support to Sri Lankans hit hardest by the economic crisis, Lord Tariq Ahmad, the UK minister of state for the Middle East, South Asia, and the UN said on Friday (23).
More than one third of the people of the island-nation are struggling to eat and suffering from shortages of fuel, power, and medicines.
Sri Lanka has the fifth largest food price inflation in the world, up 93.7 per cent in August, with rice costing 150 per cent more than this time last year.
Lord Ahmad was to set out the UK’s life-saving support package of £3 million during a meeting with Sri Lankan foreign minister Ali Sabry at the UN General Assembly.
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,” Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said.
“We are providing £3 million of lifesaving support to the most vulnerable and will continue to work with international partners to help Sri Lanka.”
The 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 $1.7 billion to the fund since its inception in 2006 and it has already provided $5 million 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 the economic crisis on the people of Sri Lanka.