US extends US $180 million to Sri Lanka in emergency financing
Opaque (not transparent) loans for “headline-grabbing” infrastructure projects, were among the factors behind the current crisis that has engulfed Sri Lanka, said Samantha Power, Administrator, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on Wednesday.
Delivering a speech at the IIT-Delhi, Ms. Power praised India’s “swift” action in response to the emergency in Sri Lanka and argued that India’s strength especially in the field of tackling food security threats, was nurtured over the past seven decades in partnership with the United States.
She said the United States extended $180 million to Sri Lanka in emergency financing in 2022 and praised India for coming to Colombo’s help.
“The Government of India has already supplied $16 million in humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka, it has exported 100,000 tons of organic fertilizer to try to help farmers stave off future food shortages, and it has supplied $3.5 billion in Lines of Credits to the Government of Sri Lanka as it attempts to steer its economy out of default and further collapse she added.
Ms. Power painted a broad canvas of possible partnership between India and the United States based upon Cold War era instances of American support to Delhi, leading up to the launch of the Green Revolution. Ms. Power said India had proved itself capable of helping the “Global South” soon after attaining independence.
The American official met with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, on Tuesday. She announced that the U.S. will invest $ 25 million in a new partnership with India for promoting agroforestry. “Across these past 75 years, India has always shown itself to be a friend to the world’s poor. Now, when the stakes have rarely been higher, India stands able to be an incredibly impactful development leader. ,” said Ms. Power.
Power sounded a note of caution about the cascading political effect that global food insecurity can have in the coming months. “Sri Lanka’s government was the first to fall. 17 countries are facing (similar) protests,” said Ms. Power