This new funding will also provide technical assistance to the Sri Lankan government in implementing economic and financial reform measures to stabilize the economy, in line with an expected package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US embassy in Colombo said in a statement. declaration.
“The US is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people in the current economic and political challenges. As a long-term development partner, we will remain committed to efforts that promote sustainable economic growth and good governance,” said Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
This emergency funding through the United States government’s development arm, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), responds to emerging or unforeseen complex crises abroad. Part of this funding will go to USAID’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Project to support small-scale agricultural productivity and micro-enterprise in communities that have traditionally experienced high poverty rates and are particularly affected by the crisis.
This funding will also support public sector efficiency and resource management through USAID’s project to accelerate results in trade, national spending and revenue.
“The $6 million in new aid is part of a much larger package of foreign aid to Sri Lanka from the American people to meet today’s needs. That aid is part of a shared history in which the United States raised more than $2 billion in economic and humanitarian aid since 1956,” the statement said.
The US will continue to contribute to its significant ongoing investments and aid projects in Sri Lanka to help meet the immediate and long-term needs of the people of Sri Lanka. The US on Wednesday announced $120 million in new loans to Sri Lanka to grow and support small and medium-sized businesses in the country.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948. The economic crisis has led to an acute shortage of essential items such as food, medicines, cooking gas and other fuel, toilet paper and even matches.
The country faces long queues for refueling at gas stations as the government finds it difficult to finance fuel imports to maintain a reserve sufficient for at least three months.
The near-bankrupt country, with an acute currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, announced in April that it is suspending repayment of nearly $7 billion in foreign debt for this year of the roughly $25 billion owed through 2026. Sri Lanka’s total external debt is equivalent to $51 billion.