Australia will provide $ 50 million (US $ 34.5 million) in development assistance to meet urgent food and medical needs as Sri Lanka fights the worst economic crisis of 70 years.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong Said Australia will immediately provide $ 22 million to the World Food Program for emergency assistance, provide food to 3 million people in Sri Lanka, and provide an additional $ 23 million to support health services and economic recovery.
“Sri Lanka is currently facing the worst economic crisis in 70 years, leading to food, medicine and fuel shortages,” Wong said. “Australia has a close and long-standing relationship with Sri Lanka. Not only do we want to help the people of Sri Lanka when they are in need, but if this crisis continues, it will have even more serious consequences for the region. “
These donations will add to the $ 5 million that Australia recently provided to UN agencies after the UN began. Global appeal So far, on June 9, we have raised US $ 47.2 million in aid to Asian countries.
Sri Lankan economy facing a complete collapse
Financial aid news comes after Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament on June 22 that the country is facing a collapse.
“We are now facing a far more serious situation than just a shortage of fuel, gas, electricity and food. Our economy is facing a complete collapse,” he said. rice field.
“It’s not easy to revive a country whose economy has completely collapsed, especially ones with dangerously low foreign exchange reserves.”
Sri Lanka is currently discussing lending packages to increase foreign exchange reserves with India, China and Japan, but Wickremesinghe said there are challenges as each country has its own lending system.
“We are working to resolve these and re-cultivate friendships,” he said.
The government will also seek help from the United States, along with a representative of the US Treasury to visit Sri Lanka next week.
Thousands of Sri Lankans went out on the streets to protest the government’s mishandling of the country’s economic crisis and resigned then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 9.
The country’s unprecedented economic crisis has left millions of people in need of life-saving assistance, and a serious shortage of essential medicines and frequent power outages put the country’s health care system at risk.
Sri Lanka has lessons for the world on the risk of food shortages
The collapse of Sri Lanka’s economy is caused not only by the world addressing grain and fertilizer shortages, but also by soaring fuel prices as a result of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Matt Dalgliesh of Thomas Elder Markets previously told The Epoch Times that countries like Sri Lanka are in an unstable position.
He warned that in developing countries, especially economies like Sri Lanka, which are heavily dependent on imported food and commodities, it is easy to see the outbreak of massive instability and civil disobedience.
” [Australia’s] Problems can occur at the front door, such as Indonesia, which strives for self-sufficiency from a food security perspective, but perhaps in the Middle East and North Africa, countries susceptible to food insecurity. I have. ” He said.
“In some developing countries where food security is low and relies on many meat imports, consumers can spend 50-60% of their income on food-related issues and the risk of food insecurity. It’s much more important, and modeling what it brings is like what we see in Sri Lanka. “
Aldgra Fredly contributed to this report.