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Mechanism mooted to help economically vulnerable sectors

9 months ago

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  • Key govt. and int’l agencies, including UN, proposed to join 
  • USAID’s Samantha Power assures PM of support for SL 
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said yesterday (24) that a central mechanism comprising key government agencies and international donors is being considered to help the most vulnerable sectors affected by the ongoing economic crisis. “Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris stated that a central mechanism with the participation of key government agencies as well as the United Nations (UN) and donor countries is under consideration in order to address the urgent needs of the people, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable sectors of the society. He also explained the measures taken by the Government to address the shortage of essential supplies, as well as issues encountered by the agricultural sector in consultation with bilateral partners,” the Ministry said in a statement issued in this regard yesterday. Prof. Peiris had made these remarks in a meeting with the UN Resident Co-ordinator Hanaa Singer-Hamdy on Monday (23).  “Singer-Hamdy assured Prof. Peiris of the fullest support of the UN to the Government in securing international assistance, addressing the shortages of essential supplies and also concerns relating to issues such as unemployment and malnutrition,” the statement further read.  Meanwhile, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power has assured PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that she will work closely with other donors such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, G7 countries, and other stakeholders to support Sri Lanka during this “extraordinarily difficult period”. During a telephone conversation with PM Wickremesinghe, Power had discussed how the USAID is responding to the island nation’s political and economic crises, and expressed her sympathy for the Sri Lankans who were killed or injured in the political unrest earlier this month. Pledging her support to the people of Sri Lanka, she has stated that USAID would help the country weather the crisis. Power meanwhile had stressed the need to urgently undertake political and economic reforms to gain the trust of the Sri Lankan people.  She has underscored that USAID is pivoting its ongoing programmes in Sri Lanka to help address the urgent needs of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable and marginalised communities as they experience economic shocks compounded by rising food, fuel, and fertiliser prices due to Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.

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