While in Sri Lanka today, Administrator Samantha Power announced an additional $40 million in development assistance to help farmers purchase fertilizer and other vital agricultural inputs. This assistance will support Sri Lankans as they come out of a political crisis and are still facing a severe economic and agricultural crisis, with consecutive failed agricultural seasons producing half of their usual output followed by year-on-year inflation that soared to above 60 percent and food price inflation climbing to 90 percent, since August of this year. These compounding effects have left households across the country struggling to meet essential needs as food insecurity continues to grow without end in sight.
Subject to Congressional approval, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest this money to provide farmers with fertilizer and other vital agricultural inputs. This critical support, implemented through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, comes just in time for maximum benefit to the upcoming “Maha” planting season and will benefit up to 1 million farmers in need of fertilizer across Sri Lanka, which includes 53,000 farmers in need of emergency cash assistance.
Today’s announcement builds on USAID’s ongoing support since the complex emergency began, by strengthening ongoing programs in Sri Lanka to address the dire needs of the country’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities as they experience economic shocks, compounded by rising food, fuel, and fertilizer prices due to Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.
USAID stands with the Sri Lankan people and is committed to providing this urgent support. The U.S. Government will continue to explore ways to assist the country in meeting their immediate, medium, and long-term needs, and will continue ongoing efforts that boost sustainable economic growth, promote inclusivity, strengthen governance, and foster a free and prosperous Sri Lanka.