Struggling with severe drug shortages, the Japanese government has offered to help Sri Lanka by providing $1.5 million for essential drugs through UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of the people.
The $1.5 million contribution will help UNICEF provide medicine to more than 1.2 million people, including 53,000 pregnant women and nearly 122,000 children in immediate need, Colombo Page reported.
Japan’s Deputy Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Katsuki Kotaro, said: “It is a great honor for us that Japan is extending $1.5 million in emergency aid to the people of Sri Lanka to procure the 25 types of drugs most needed in the next two months. through UNICEF. We believe 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 has largely affected essential services, in particular the health sector. The Ministry of Health has identified a list of essential medicines that will be out of stock in the next two months, especially for children and pregnant women, according to Colombo Page.
“It’s a race against time given the urgent need for these life-saving medicines for the most vulnerable, especially children and pregnant women. The prompt contribution of the Japanese government is commendable. UNICEF will use its vast expertise to rapidly procure and deliver the medicines to where they are most needed,” said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka.
The Government of Japan’s contributions are crucial to meeting the growing needs of children, including nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and protective services, not only in the immediate but also long-term, as Colombo Page reported.
Currently, Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting large numbers of citizens.
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