US President announces $20 million aid to strengthen SL food security
At the G7 Summit today (June 28), President of the United States Joe Biden announced $20 million in additional assistance to strengthen food security in Sri Lanka.
Building on other recent funding announcements from the United States, this newly posted assistance will target Sri Lankans most in need during the current economic crisis.
The funding aims to support a school nutrition program that will feed over 800,000 Sri Lankan children and provide food vouchers for over 27,000 pregnant and lactating women over the next 15 months, according to the U.S. Embassy in Colombo.
The effort also plans to support approximately 30,000 farmers through the contribution of agricultural assistance and cash in order to increase food production in vulnerable Sri Lankan communities.
“President Biden’s announcement of $20 million in additional assistance to Sri Lanka demonstrates the United States’ ongoing commitment to food security, public health, and the economic well-being of all Sri Lankan people,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung. “
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.”
The $20 million of humanitarian assistance announced today builds on nearly $12 million in recent U.S. commitments in economic and humanitarian assistance, totaling $32 million in U.S. support for the Sri Lankan people since June 16, 2022.
Funding is provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be awarded to partners that adhere to globally recognized monitoring and evaluation standards. This ensures that funding is accounted for and assistance reaches those identified as most vulnerable to food insecurity, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo noted.
The United States has agreed to provide technical assistance for fiscal management in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister’s Media Division said.
Kelly Keiderling, Deputy Secretary of State for South and Central Asia at the U.S. State Department, who arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday, held a discussion with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today (27).
The US Diplomatic Group also stated its support for the ongoing talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund.
Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Asia in the United States and Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, also participated in the discussion held at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Following the meeting with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, the U.S. Ambassador on Twitter said the U.S. continues to support Sri Lankan efforts to promote economic growth.
“We met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to explore ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship, and to discuss US efforts to provide millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance directly to low-income communities in Sri Lanka,” Chung said.
In addition, Secretary to the Prime Minister Saman Ekanayake and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr. R.H. Samaratunga were also present at the meeting.