Sri Lanka - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:52 pm on 13 July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 3:52, 13 July 2022

As the Minister of State for South Asia, I have been engaging directly on this issue. We are working with, for example, the Red Cross on its disaster relief emergency fund and its operation in Sri Lanka. We are providing direct support, including essential medicine, first aid and psychosocial support. We are also working through various UN agencies, based on their assessments, with a plan launched on 9 June. The Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan called for $47.2 million to provide lifesaving assistance, and we are supporting that directly through the UN. The World Bank has also announced assistance of $400 million, which includes funds for medicines and medical equipment, and we are looking at that. I assure the noble Lord that, on the state of emergency, I have again today instructed officials to look at what bilateral support we can provide. I acknowledge his point and I am very much on it: we are seeing how we can engage constructively with India as a near partner and friend to Sri Lanka.