In its latest pledge, the World Health Organization (WHO) will provide essential medical supplies worth $4 million to Sri Lanka. Congratulating Ranil Wickremesinghe on becoming President, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus promised delivery of essential medical supplies valued at $4 million, according to Colombo Gazette, reported news agency ANI.
“To this end, I am pleased to inform you that I have tasked the WHO Health Emergencies Programme to take immediate action to meet the most urgent health needs of the people of Sri Lanka. WHO will procure and deliver essential medical supplies valued at $4 million. Procurement has already been initiated and the list, including delivery times will be shared through the WHO Country Office,” he said.
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The aid will be provided in collaboration with WHO’s Regional and Country Offices, as well as the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries. WHO Director-General also stressed on recognising the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka and the impact Covid-19 was having on the health system.
The WHO Director-General said the global health body will closely monitor the health risks to the population including the functionality and resilience of the health system and provide the necessary technical assistance to strengthen provincial health services.
The healthcare sector in the island nation is also reeling under the economic crisis. The country is facing an unprecedented medicines supply shortage, while people have stormed the streets protesting against the government over the ongoing economic crisis.
Meanwhile, Japan is looking to organise a Sri Lanka creditors’ conference with the hope to solve the South Asia nation’s debt crisis, but uncertainties cloud the outlook for any talks, according to the sources of the news agency Reuters.
Tokyo is open to hosting talks among the creditor nations aimed at helping Colombo tackle its worst debt crisis since independence, but it is not clear if the top creditor China would join, according to the source.