Australia to provide AUD 5.5 million to support Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response

Australia is to provide AUD 5.5 million to support Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne said today.

Payne announced that Australia will provide AUD 5.5 million in funding to Sri Lanka as part of a new Health Security initiative to support the Sri Lankan Government’s COVID-19 response.

This new contribution is part of an assistance package to support Australia’s Indian Ocean neighbours to minimise the impacts of COVID-19.

“Australia’s contribution will go directly to those on the ground delivering much-needed assistance to those who need it most. Communities in Australia are concerned for friends and family in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In partnership with our friends, we will continue to support the region to respond to and recover from COVID-19,” Marise Payne said.

The new initiative will assist the Sri Lankan Government to protect its frontline workers against COVID-19 and expand the capacity of its health system to prepare and respond to the current outbreak and pandemics into the future.

Australia will work closely with the Ministry of Health and UN partners to ensure much-needed assistance reaches those who need it most.

“Australia wants to keep our shared Indian Ocean region safe, stable, prosperous and resilient. We recognise the challenging COVID-19 situation that Sri Lanka is currently facing, and we stand ready to support our neighbour Sri Lanka. We hope this new package of support will assist in containing the spread of COVID-19, and to manage threats to regional health security in the future,” Australian High Commissioner David Holly said.

Australia’s overall package of support to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response totals AUD 11.7 million (LKR 1,787 million) and is focused on bolstering health security, promoting social cohesion and stability for Sri Lankan communities and supporting economic recovery.

Globally, Australia is working to increase the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including through an $80 million commitment to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, of which Sri Lanka is a beneficiary country. (Colombo Gazette)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Two sentences by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs : “ Australia’s assistance will go directly to those on the ground delivering much needed assistance to those who need it most” and “Australia will work closely with UN partners to ensure much-needed assistance will reach those who need it most”. The statements unambiguously convey the awareness of ‘ground realities’ in Sri Lanka, and the reasons for the reluctance of most Western governments to provide aid directly to the Government of Sri Lanka.

    The ‘days’ of Western governments accepting funds being siphoned into ministerial bank accounts as a necessary evil for the distribution of the aid appear to be a thing of the past ( hence the attempt to increase the degree of difficulty for misappropriation).

    It appears, Western governments didn’t need a committee to advise them on “lessons-learnt” as, ‘past-dealings’ with Sri Lankan governments appear to have provided a a valuable learning curve for ‘current-dealings,’ particularly in aid distribution.

    Let it also be noted that Minister Marise Payne is an extremely compassionate woman; who does not suffer fools gladly. The Sri Lankan government should be made extremely cognisant of that fact.

  2. This small amount of money is good enough for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is to ignore people like me. Few days ago President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has blocked me from his Facebook for posting the following post.

    Truly, a tragedy to humanity.

    An appropriate finale, perhaps to calamitous campaigns on freedom and independence that did no justice to the people who had hoped that their leaders could turn things around. After decades of constant battles and enormous sacrifices, Indians got independence from the West to develop themselves. Seven decades have passed, what they have is a disaster. Today, they cannot wait to get out of their country to save their lives. Truly, this is a tragedy for South Asia and humanity as a whole. Surely, the British would not have given independence to South Asia; if Indians had a plan to unite South Asia to utilise the largest human resources as China does to build its wealth and power because that would have been the greatest threat to the Western powers in the 20th century. The British gave independence to South Asia after making sure that divisions are in place. The divisions were systematically created in every part of South Asia, including Sri Lanka, but the obvious one was dividing India and creating Pakistan.

    The Western countries ripped off South Asia and fooled South Asians for centuries. However, the South Asian leaders failed to think for themselves to re-unite South Asia which was divided by the West. Britain’s brainchild is Pakistan, I would not surprise if the British deliberately twist the truth and pushed the Hindu fundamentalists to kill Gandhi for creating Pakistan. After Gandhi’s death, South Asian leaders have been pleasing the West to safeguard their political positions to build their own wealth at the expense of billions of South Asians. South Asia has more population than China, it had an opportunity to become unbelievably wealthy and powerful to make this world a better place, especially to help the First People of North America and Australasia to have their freedom. However, South Asia has failed utterly. In fact, entire South Asia did nothing when the Australian Government deleted my citizenship and brought me to the street for making awareness of the Australian First people’s hardships. This shows the Australian leaders’ extraordinary power and failed South Asia.

    Between 2003 and 2008, I have lifted awareness of the reality of the Australian outback and detention centres while Australia was fighting in Iraq. In 2008, the Australian Government deleted my citizenship and traumatised me as an illegal immigrant. I am a qualified accountant but lost my job due to the government’s disinformation of ‘illegal immigrant.’ I could not service my home loan without a job. Subsequently, I had to sell my house for a loss. When I had open house inspections for sale, the police would come for a routine check to intimate potential buyers. Eventually, I had to sell my house for a loss. The government made sure that I will not make money from my house to take legal action and it has been isolating me so I will not have the people’s power to expose the truth. Sadly, the Five Eyes countries have been using my uneducated siblings to undermine my credibility. The Australian Government wants to make sure that I have no status and nobody listens to me to take advantage of my knowledge, especially South Asians. Twelve years have gone since the government had deleted my citizenship and brought me to the street. But still, I can not get a professional job due to the government’s systematic disinformation and I cannot even obtain a credit card for 100 dollars.

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