Monday, July 4, 2022

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USAID and UK asure support for SL to ride over economic crisis

USAID Administrator Samantha Power has assured Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe USAID support.

USAID Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif said that Power held a call with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss how USAID is responding to the country’s political and economic crises.

Administrator Power expressed her sympathy for those Sri Lankans who were killed or injured in the political unrest earlier this month.

She pledged her support to the people of Sri Lanka and committed that USAID would help the country weather the crisis. She stressed the need to urgently undertake political and economic reforms to gain the trust of the Sri Lankan people.

Administrator Power underscored that USAID is pivoting its ongoing programs in Sri Lanka to help address the urgent needs of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities as they experience the economic shocks, compounded by rising food, fuel and fertilizer prices due to Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.

Administrator Power assured the Prime Minister that USAID would closely work with other donors such as the IMF, the World Bank, G7, and others to support Sri Lanka during this extraordinarily difficult period.

The United Kingdom (UK) has encouraged all sides in Sri Lanka to find a democratic and inclusive approach to resolving the current political and economic challenges.

rliamentary Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the UK, Vicky Ford, said that the UK is closely following the situation in Sri Lanka since the attacks against peaceful protesters on 9 May and outbreaks of violence that followed.

She said that the Minister for South Asia, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has made clear that violence against peaceful protestors is unacceptable and that those responsible for attacks should be held accountable.

“Fundamental rights including the right to peaceful protest must be protected. We encourage all sides to find a democratic and inclusive approach to resolving the current political and economic challenges,” she told the UK Parliament in response to a question raised.

Vicky Ford said the UK Government takes the safety and security of British nationals overseas seriously, and regularly communicates through travel advice and messaging from the British High Commission in Colombo.

“Our advice helps British nationals to make informed decisions. Travel advice is advisory only and people must take personal responsibility for any trips they make abroad. Our travel advice remains under constant review to ensure it reflects our latest assessment of risks,” she said.

Vicky Ford said that consular staff continue to provide a full range of consular services to British nationals in Sri Lanka.

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