Sat, 03 Jun 2023

Colombo [Sri Lanka], July 2 (ANI): Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mizukoshi Hideaki on Friday said that Japan is ready to support Sri Lanka for its economic programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and for the development activities of the country.

In a statement, the President's Media Division said that during the discussion between the Japanese Ambassador and Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Hideaki said that continuous efforts will be made to further strengthen the economic, social and cultural relations with island nations, Daily Mirror Online reported.

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa during the discussion expressed his deep appreciation to Japan for its support to Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Embassy in a statement on their FaceBook page said that Japan is closely paying attention to the current difficult economic situation in Sri Lanka and the severe humanitarian situation accompanying it.

"Considering such a situation, the Government of Japan has decided to provide Emergency Grant Aid of USD three (3) million through UNICEF and WFP in order to provide medicine and food in a manner that would directly benefit the Sri Lankan people. Japan sincerely hopes that this assistance will be of help to overcome the hardship faced by the people of Sri Lanka, Japan's long-standing friends," the Embassy said as quoted by Daily Mirror Online.

The statement further added that the Japanese government would like to consider its further contribution to Sri Lanka in consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka and other developing partners while giving attention to the situation of Sri Lanka and the negotiation progress between Sri Lanka and IMF. Earlier also, Japan had come forward and helped Sri Lanka. Even Japan had joined hands with Sri Lanka to address the crisis in Sri Lanka.

Both the countries reached this agreement after the meeting on May 24, on the sidelines of the powerful regional grouping, the 'Quadrilateral Security Dialogue' (QSD) meeting, Colombo Gazette reported.

"They also discussed the situation in Sri Lanka and confirmed that they will cooperate with each other in light of the current economic crisis and deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country," the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier in May, the Japanese government came forward to help Sri Lanka by providing USD 1.5 million for essential medicines through UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of the population.

The contribution of USD 1.5 million will help UNICEF to procure the medicines for over 1.2 million people including 53,000 pregnant mothers and nearly 122,000 children in immediate need, Colombo Page reported.

Deputy Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka, Katsuki Kotaro said, "It is our great honour that Japan will be providing USD 1.5 million emergency grant assistance to the people of Sri Lanka to procure the most urgently needed 25 types of medicines within the next two months through UNICEF. We believe that this will help improve access to essential life-saving medical services, especially for pregnant women and children, who are most likely to be affected by the economic crisis."Presently, Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices, and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens. (ANI)

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