India ships rice, 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol among other essentials to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

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Colombo: Sri Lanka received a first consignment of a $16 million humanitarian aid package from neighbouring India to help mitigate severe shortages caused by the country’s worst economic crisis in recent memory.

Gopal Baglay, the Indian envoy to Sri Lanka, delivered the donation from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris late Sunday. The goods, worth $5.6 million, include rice, milk powder and essential medicines.

They will be distributed among vulnerable families in different parts of the country, the Indian Embassy said in a statement.

Besides, India has delivered around 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol to Sri Lanka, days after supplying 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel under the Indian credit line to help ease the acute fuel shortage in the debt-ridden island nation which is grappling with its worst economic crisis.

India extended an additional USD 500 million credit line to Sri Lanka last month to help the neighbouring country import fuel as it has been struggling to pay for imports after its foreign exchange reserves plummeted sharply in recent times, causing a devaluation of its currency and spiralling inflation.

India on Saturday provided another 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel to Sri Lanka under the credit line facility.

Sri Lanka is near bankruptcy and has severe shortages of essentials from food, fuel, medicines and cooking gas to toilet paper and matchsticks. For months, people have been forced to stay in long lines to buy the limited stocks.

 

 

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