Colombo [Sri Lanka], July 29 (ANI): The Japanese government came forward to help Sri Lanka and handed over the first consignment of a total donation of USD 1.5 million of essential medicines through UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of the population.
The vital assistance will be used to provide much-needed healthcare for children, pregnant mothers, and their families, especially in some of the most vulnerable regions, Daily Mirror reported.
The Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki along with the UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Emma Brigham handed over the medical supplies to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella.
Hideaki said, “It is our great honour that the Government of Japan has provided the first batch of essential medicines in a timely manner at this critical moment through the support of UNICEF to meet the urgent requirement for life-saving medicines in Sri Lanka. We hope that this assistance will reach millions of vulnerable individuals to help overcome the challenges faced at this economic crisis.”
The medicines will be distributed by the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) of the Ministry of Health and the most vulnerable and high-risk areas will be targeted on the basis of the depleting stocks of medicines in each district, local media reported.
UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Emma Brigham said, “We thank the Government and the people of Japan for responding to UNICEF’s appeal for Sri Lanka by providing crucial life-saving support for children and families during this very challenging time in the country.”
“The current crisis is stretching vital social services including health care to its limits and assistance such as this, can help bring some relief,” she added.
Over 5.7 people including 2.3 million children are being impacted by the combined burden of poverty, the pandemic, and the economic crisis, local media reported.
The economic crisis in Sri Lanka has affected largely on the essential services, especially the health sector. The Ministry of Health has identified a list of essential drugs that will be out of stock in the next two months, including for children and pregnant women, according to Colombo Page.
“It’s a race against time given the acute need for these life-saving medicines by the most vulnerable, especially children and pregnant women. The swift contribution by the Government of Japan is commendable. UNICEF will use its vast expertise to rapidly procure and deliver the medicines to where they are needed most,” Christian Skoog, Representative of UNICEF Sri Lanka said.
Contributions from the Government of Japan are crucial to meet the growing needs of children, including in nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), education, and protection services, not only in the immediate but also in the long term, as reported by Colombo Page.
Presently, Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices, and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens. (ANI)