The Japanese government came forward to help Sri Lanka by providing USD 1.5 million for essential medicines through UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of the population.
The contribution of USD 1.5 million will help UNICEF to procure the medicines for over 1.2 million people including 53,000 pregnant mothers and nearly 122,000 children in immediate need, Colombo Page reported.
Deputy Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka, Katsuki Kotaro said, "It is our great honor that Japan will be providing USD 1.5 million emergency grant assistance to the people of Sri Lanka to procure the most urgently needed 25 types of medicines within the next two months through UNICEF. We believe that this will help improve access to essential life-saving medical services, especially for pregnant women and children, who are most likely to be affected by the economic crisis."
The economic crisis in Sri Lanka largely affected largely the essential services, especially the health sector was worst hit. 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 the 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.
Currently, 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.
Image courtesy: UNICEF