ECONOMYNEXT – Some 600 metric tons of rice, the first consignment from an Australian donation worth 15 million US dollars, has arrived in Sri Lanka to be distributed among those affected by the island nation’s currency crisis.
A joint statement by the Australian government and the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday September 21 that the consignment forms part of a larger consignment of rice, pulses and cooking oil, due to arrive in the country soon.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Paul Stephens said the contribution is an extension of his country’s goodwill during Sri Lanka’s unprecedented crisis.
“We are supporting WFP to provide life-saving food to people who are struggling with price increases, job losses and reduced incomes,” he said.
WFP Sri Lanka’s Representative and Country Director Abdur Rahim Siddiqui said Australia was the first to contribute to WFP’s emergency response, enabling the United Nations agency to kick-off much needed assistance to those hard-hit by the ongoing crisis.
“Through Australia’s generous donation, we are providing cash and in-kind food to the most vulnerable, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and school children,” he said.
The statement said Sri Lanka’s crisis has increased the level of food insecurity in the country and recent WFP surveys show the situation could deteriorate further in the coming months without urgent assistance.
Launched in June, WFP’s emergency response aims to help 3.4 million of those most at risk, the statement said. (Colombo/Sep21/2022)