United Kingdom on Monday said it is monitoring the developments in Sri Lanka and ready to support to come out of its crisis.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and will encourage a peaceful, democratic and inclusive approach to help support Sri Lanka through its economic and political challenges,” MP Vicky Ford told the UK Parliament yesterday.
She was responding to a query on UK’s development aid by UK Democratic Unionist Party MP
Jim Shannon. He asked the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he is taking steps to assist Sri Lanka with petrol prices.
In response Vicky Ford said: “The UK Government recognises Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence and the impact this is having on fuel prices and other commodities. Concurrent challenges in public finance and sovereign debt, as well as the availability and affordability of essential items like food, fertilisers, medicines and fuel, have disrupted livelihoods across the country.”
She also said the UK economic support is forthcoming through multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and UN as underlined by the Prime Minister when he spoke to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on 30 May. The UK has the joint fifth largest share in the IMF and is a major contributor to the UN and WB.
“We welcome the start of in-depth discussions with the IMF on reforms needed to bring the economy back to a sustainable path. In April, the WB agreed to provide $ 600 million in financial assistance and we understand there are discussions to extend this support. We also have a significant voice in international fora like the Paris club and will work on solutions to Sri Lanka's debt crisis. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will encourage a peaceful, democratic and inclusive approach to help support Sri Lanka through its economic and political challenges,” Ford added.