The Government of Japan on Thursday (28) handed over the first consignment of a total donation of USD 1.5 million worth of medicines, being procured through UNICEF, to address the severe shortage of medicines in hospitals and clinics in the country, the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka, in a statement, said.
The assistance will be used to provide much-needed healthcare for children, pregnant mothers, and their families, especially in some of the most vulnerable regions, it said.The supply of medicines was handed over by the Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki and the UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, Emma Brigham to Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.
Hideaki said, “It is our honour that the Government of Japan has provided the first batch of essential medicines in a timelymanner at this critical moment through the support of UNICEF to meet the urgentrequirement for life-saving medicines in Sri Lanka. We hope that this assistance will reach millions of vulnerable individuals to help overcome the challenges faced at this economic crisis.”
The Ministry’s Medical Supplies Division (MSD) will be distributing the medicines, targeting the most vulnerable and high-risk areas, based on depleting stocks of medicines in each district, The Embassy further said.
Meanwhile, Brigham said, “We thank the Government and the people of Japan for responding to UNICEF’s appeal for Sri Lanka by providing crucial life-saving support for children and families during this very challenging time in the country. The current crisis is stretching vital social services including healthcare to its limits and assistance such as this, can help bring some relief.”
Nearly 5.7 million people, including 2.3 million children, are being impacted by the combined burden of poverty, the pandemic, and the economic crisis. UNICEF recently launched a global appeal calling for urgent assistance for Sri Lanka. Development partners, including the Government of Japan have responded with much-needed support, the statement said in conclusion.