Sri Lanka crisis: India provides medicinal supply after Colombo faces shortage

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, April 06, 2022, 02:27 PM IST
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As Sri Lanka continues to reel under economical crisis, many cities in the country are facing medicine shortage creating a problem for hospitals, patients. Capital city Colombo is facing a shortage of medicine supply amidst crisis.

The island country is presently facing a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a food, fuel, power and gas shortage and has sought the assistance of friendly countries for economic assistance. Sri Lanka's currency has been also devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8. The poeple of the country have also hit the streets against the government to protest the ongoing economic crisis.

Commenting on shortage of supply, a resident said, "There is a lot of shortage of medicines. Very difficult to survive these days. This is an effect of long term bad management."

However, India has been extending support to Sri Lanka with all possible help.

"Most of our drugs are coming from India under Indian credit line, and more supply will come to us in near future. It is a great help for us. I thank India for the support," Dr Dammika, Director of National Eye Hospital Colombo said.

India is providing medicines while fuel has also been provided by India to Sri Lanka under USD 500 million line of credit.

"We have medical stock in our hospital for this month only and we are getting supply from the Ministry of health while some of the hospitals are facing the shortage of drugs," he told news agency ANI.

The economy of the island country that has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID pandemic is now in the throes of a spiralling crisis, with shortages of medicines and food and long power cuts.

Several hotels located in Colombo said they have suffered huge losses due to ongoing mass protests in the city. The country's tourism sector, one of the major contributors to its economy, which was slowly reviving after the COVID pandemic, has now been hit hard.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has revoked the State of Emergency imposed in the country to ensure "public security and maintenance of public order."

The Sri Lankan government's income has also taken a big hit due to a drop in tourism that has given rise to gas and fuel shortages, leading to massive power cuts.

As New Delhi is providing financial assistance to Colombo, India has announced another USD 1 billion as credit to Sri Lanka to help shore up the sinking economy of the island nation. The USD 1 billion line of credit to Colombo will help in keeping their food prices and fuel costs under check.

Last month Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him on "initiatives being taken by both countries to increase bilateral economic cooperation, and conveyed his thanks for the support extended by India for the Sri Lankan economy."

(with agency inputs)

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