US President announces USD 20M assistance  

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US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung yesterday (29) said US President Joe Biden has announced an additional assistance of USD 20 million to Sri Lanka to help feed over 800,000 children, provide food vouchers to over 27,000 pregnant, lactating women over the next 15 months, and combat food insecurity.

She tweeted that this demonstrates their enduring commitment to the health and well-being of the Sri Lankan people.

Biden announced the USD 20 million aid facility for Sri Lanka at the G7 Summit yesterday. Building on other recent funding announcements from the US, this newly-posted assistance will target Sri Lankans most in need during the present economic crisis. The initiative will also support approximately 30,000 farmers through the contribution of agricultural assistance and cash to increase food production in vulnerable Sri Lankan communities.

“The United States will continue to support Sri Lankan efforts to promote economic stability and will ensure this assistance reaches the communities and children who need it most,” she added.

The humanitarian assistance of USD 20 million builds on nearly USD 12 million in recent US commitments in economic and humanitarian assistance, totalling USD 32 million in US support for the Sri Lankan people since 16 June 2022.  Funding is provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be awarded to partners that adhere to globally recognised monitoring and evaluation standards. This ensures that funding is accounted for and assistance reaches those identified as most vulnerable to food insecurity.

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador also met Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and Ministry Secretary Aruni Wijewardane yesterday to discuss their shared commitment to a democratic and prosperous Sri Lanka.

The US Envoy tweeted that they discussed how the US and Sri Lanka can work together to bolster economic partnership and ensure assistance reaches Sri Lankans who need it most.

The US Ambassador also met Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera at a separate event. She said they discussed a consistent energy supply. She also tweeted that a consistent energy supply for Sri Lanka is critical to economic stability. She added that they had discussed ways to alleviate Sri Lanka’s energy challenges, and how their partnerships in the renewable energy and electric vehicle sectors are promoting long-term sustainability.

Over the last 48 hours, the US Ambassador met several Sri Lankan politicians including the President and Prime Minister. A high-level delegation representing the US Department of the Treasury and the US Department of State arrived in Sri Lanka recently.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan