Administrator Samantha Power Meets with Government Officials, Civil Society and Impacted Communities in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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For Immediate Release

Monday, September 12, 2022

The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Shejal Pulivarti:‎

On September 11, Administrator Power began her day meeting with civil society leaders where they shared their perspectives on the economic crisis and recent political unrest in the country. They spoke about the need for the government to become more transparent and accountable to the people and take forward further reforms to uphold civil liberties and human rights. The Administrator underscored the need to maintain space for a vibrant civil society in Sri Lanka and around the world.

Administrator Power then met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe where she affirmed the United States’ commitment to helping Sri Lanka weather the current complex emergency. She urged the government to continue to pursue political reforms hand in hand with economic reforms as both are essential to economic stability, as well as pressing forward with increasing public trust as a key measure to build investor confidence. Administrator Power recognized USAID’s long history in Sri Lanka and decades-long partnership in promotion of a healthy and educated and prosperous population.

Administrator Power then visited a vulnerable urban community in Sri Lanka facing the devastating effects of inflation and fuel and food shortages. She spoke with women heads of household who are receiving USAID multi-purpose cash assistance to address their most basic needs. She then met with leaders and representatives of opposition parties to discuss insights into the depth and nature of the economic crisis, and how USAID can maximize efforts to support the Sri Lankan people.

The Administrator held a press conference to announce an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Sri Lanka through this severe economic crisis. She also sat down for an interview with Sri Lanka reporter Indeewari Amuwatte to discuss the longstanding U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship, human rights, and the needed response to the immediate crisis Sri Lankans are experiencing.

The Administrator concluded her trip celebrating the achievements of USAID/Sri Lanka and Maldives staff, taking pictures and engaging with the team. She thanked the staff for their commitment to supporting USAID’s work to increase economic development and help Sri Lankans most in need everyday, and particularly local staff as their own lives have been significantly disrupted by this complex emergency.

Last updated: September 12, 2022

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