Australia in touch with Sri Lanka on most effective assistance

The Australian High Commission in Colombo says it is in close contact with Sri Lankan authorities to ascertain the most effective assistance Australia could provide following the recent disaster.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had announced that the Australian Government will provide urgent humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka to assist those dealing with the devastating floods and landslides, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said today.

Responding to a request from the Sri Lankan Government, Australia will provide LKR 57 million (A$500,000) to meet urgent needs, including the deployment of high-grade inflatable boats and outboard motors to expedite search and rescue efforts. These vessels will arrive in Sri Lanka by airfreight as soon as possible.

Welcoming the announcement, Australia’s High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson said ‘Our thoughts are with all Sri Lankans affected by the flooding and landslides, especially those who have tragically lost family. With this year marking the 70th anniversary of formal bilateral relations, we are proud to maintain our long history as a supportive partner and neighbour by providing this assistance, which will aid Sri Lanka’s recovery efforts now and helpto address future needs’.

Australia will also support UNICEF’s efforts to provide clean water and safe spaces for children, as well as the work of International Planned Parenthood Federation’s SPRINT Initiative, which provides access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health services in crisis and post-crisis situations.

The inflatable boats were sourced from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Malaysia, which is managed by WFP. (Colombo Gazette)