ECONOMYNEXT – The European Union has given Sri Lanka a grant of 22 million US dollars to fight Coronavirus in the island saying the country’s efforts to keep numbers down is impressive.
“Sri Lanka’s very low number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far is impressive,” the EU said in a statement.
“To support Sri Lankan efforts further, the European Union is targeting three sectors: health, agriculture and tourism.”
Sri Lanka has been aggressively tracing contacts and keeping community transmission down. This week testing of close contacts began to close a gap in the strategy.
The EU will provide 2 million Euro for equipment and medical supplies bought by the World Health Organisation and to strengthen laboratory networks in the country.
Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector will get 16.5 million Eurp.
“In these trying times, maintaining open trade and safeguarding the supply chains, especially agricultural and health supply chains, is essential to the well-being of the population,” the EU said.
“This funding will take into account the impact of Covid-19 by mobilising more private capital in rural areas and by assisting small businesses and workers in the Uva and Central Provinces.:
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry will get a 3.5 million Euro grant to support smaller operators and their employess.
Some of the assistance will be provided immediately and the rest will be delivered later in the year and will continue thereafter.
The EU Delegation, the Ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania had met Basil Rajapaksa who chairs a logistics task force on April 08, 2020.
EU said commended Sri Lanka for ensuring the safety and well-being of EU citizens. (Colombo/Apr09/2020)