USAID Administrator calls on the Prime Minister of Lanka and offers his support to overcome the financial crisis

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The US development agency has pledged to support the people of Sri Lanka, saying it is committed to helping the island nation overcome the financial crisis.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1948. The economic crisis has also sparked political unrest in the island nation with citizens staging nationwide street protests for weeks on long power cuts and a shortage of fuel, food and other daily essentials and demanding the ousting of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), had a phone conversation with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Monday to discuss how USAID is responding to the country’s political and economic crises.

“Administrator Power expressed sympathy for the Sri Lankans who were killed or injured during the political unrest earlier this month. She pledged her support to the people of Sri Lanka and pledged that USAID would assist the country. to overcome the crisis. She underscored the need to urgently undertake political and economic reforms to gain the trust of the people of Sri Lanka,” USAID spokeswoman Rebecca Chalif said in a statement.

“Power emphasized that USAID is pivoting its ongoing programs in Sri Lanka to help meet the urgent needs of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities as they experience economic shocks, compounded by rising commodity prices. food, fuel and fertilizers due to Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine,” Chalif added.

“Power assured the Prime Minister that USAID would work closely with other donors such as the IMF, World Bank, G7 and others to support Sri Lanka during this extraordinarily difficult time,” he said. she declared.

A crippling shortage of foreign exchange reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas and other necessities, while power cuts and soaring food prices have deepened misery Population.

With the economic crisis and shortage of foreign exchange, India’s $500 million line of credit for fuel imports has provided a lifeline to the island nation.

The ADB and the World Bank have just promised around 160 million each to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is currently negotiating a loan with the IMF. The country had to pay $106.34 million this year but only managed to pay $12.4 million in April.

At this difficult time, on May 20, the Group of Seven (G7) countries announced that they would help Sri Lanka obtain debt relief.

The G7 includes the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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