The US said yesterday it continues to stand with the people of Sri Lanka in the battle against the COVID-19 surge.
US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Martin Kelly and Ministry of Health Secretary Dr. S.H. Munasinghe commemorated the donation of critically needed emergency supplies, including pulse oximeters, protective goggles, examination gloves, and KN95 masks - all of it donated by the American people at the request of the government of Sri Lanka. The donation arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport on Saturday.
“The US and Sri Lanka have worked closely together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic since its outset,” said US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Martin Kelly. “We recognise the serious personal toll of the pandemic. At the Government’s request, we’re providing these urgently needed supplies to the Ministry of Health to ensure they reach those in need as fast as possible.”
The shipment of these emergency relief supplies follows the White House announcement last Thursday that the US will make available nearly 7 million vaccine doses for countries in South and Southeast Asia, including Sri Lanka. Since March 2020, the US has provided $ 6 million, plus an in-kind donation of 200 ventilators, to control the spread of COVID-19, address the urgent health needs of the Sri Lankan people, and ultimately save lives.
This assistance has reached millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces of Sri Lanka to mobilise critical supplies and expertise to support the Sri Lankan Government’s response to the pandemic. This funding is also helping to mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts and help the country recover.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested over $ 26 million in the past 20 years to improve the health and wellbeing of Sri Lankan families and to combat diseases like malaria, avian influenza, and now, COVID-19.
This is one component of the longstanding partnership between the American and Sri Lankan people to support self-reliance and promote economic growth. USAID’s program in Sri Lanka, totalling more than Rs. 350 billion ($ 2 billion) since 1961, promotes a healthy, educated, and employed population. To find out more about USAID’s work, please see usaid.gov/sri-lanka.