The Embassy of Italy in Colombo yesterday announced that in the wake of the difficulties that the country is experiencing, the Republic of Italy has decided to grant an emergency contribution to Sri Lanka worth € 300,000 with a view to improving food security.
The contribution will be channelled through the World Food Program (WFP) and will consist in the provision of food assistance as well as in targeted cash transfers and the distribution of vouchers to the most vulnerable. At a time when domestic and international factors are driving food prices higher and higher, thus increasing food insecurity for many households, we believe that it is of paramount importance for the international community to step up its efforts and show its unwavering support to the Sri Lankan people.
This emergency aid measure comes within the framework of the traditional strong partnership between Italy and Sri Lanka and follows another € 350,000 in-kind contribution granted last April for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment, which was channelled through the Italian Bilateral Emergency Fund at the World Health Organisation (WHO), thus allowing Sri Lanka to pay suppliers abroad directly as per planned procurement by Health Ministry in line with supply-chain management processes.
Also in the past, Italy has consistently supported Sri Lanka whenever the country was in need, including in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami.
In addition to this, Italy has supported initiatives aimed at strengthening the agricultural sector (i.e. through the “CEI/Institute for International Economic Cooperation” project in the Moneragala area, as well as the “Small holder productivity enhancement in Sri Lankan agriculture” project, currently under discussion) and at providing professional training to young Sri Lankans (through the so called “SPOSA” project for social workers and care takers in the Chilaw area) with a view to make sure that they acquire the skills that are most required for employment overseas.