India delivers 760 kgs of critical life-saving medicines to Sri Lanka
New Delhi, April 30, 2022
India delivered 760 kgs of 107 types of life-saving medicines to Sri Lanka in Colombo yesterday as part of the overarching aim of providing critical medical aid to the island-nation during the ongoing crisis there.
The medicines were delivered by INS Gharial of the Indian Navy as part of Mission Sagar IX, a press release from the Ministry of Defence said.
The shipment was received by Sri Lankan Health Minister Channa Jayasumana, and would be supplied to the University of Peradeniya Hospital.
"In line with GoI’s vision of SAGAR – Security And Growth for All in the Region – the Indian Navy undertakes several deployments titled ‘Mission SAGAR’ to assist friendly IOR (Indian Ocean Region) littorals. Since May 2020, Indian Navy has successfully concluded eight such missions, deploying ten ships to 18 Friendly Foreign Countries. With a steadfast intent of delivering a high quantum of humanitarian assistance to our neighbours, personnel from ships and shore organisations of Indian Navy have invested close to a million man-hours to bring succour to our friends, overseas," the release added.
Earlier this month, India had expressed its willingness to commit up to another $2 billion in financial assistance to Sri Lanka, in line with its neighbourhood first policy.
New Delhi has already helped Sri Lanka with $2.5 billion for rapid post-COVID economic recovery.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi had said then: "We are neighbours and a close friend. There has been an evolving economic situation as well as other developments. To help mitigate the economic situation there, we have extended assistance -- $2.5 billion -- in the past two to three months, including credit facilities for fuel and food which are most required."
Since mid-March, over 2,70,000 MT of foodgrain and oil has been delivered to Sri Lanka. In addition, 40,000 tonnes of rice has been supplied under the recently extended $1 billion credit line.
The Sri Lankan economy is facing a twin challenge of fast-eroding foreign exchange reserves and surging inflation, leading it to the brink of bankruptcy. It is also facing solvency issues with unsustainable debt levels.
With unprecedented shortage of foreign exchange, the basic needs of the people of Sri Lanka cannot be met.