Technical assistance

WHO pledges $4 million worth of medical supplies to Sri Lanka

The World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged to provide Sri Lanka with essential medical supplies worth $4 million.

In a congratulatory message to Ranil Wickremesinghe on his appointment as President, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pledged to deliver critical medical supplies worth $4 million, according to Colombo Gazette.

“To this end, I am pleased to inform you that I have instructed the WHO Health Emergencies Program to take immediate action to meet the most urgent health needs of the people of Sri Lanka. Working with WHO regional and country offices, as well as Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries, WHO will procure and deliver essential medical supplies worth $4 million. procurement has already been initiated and the list, including delivery times, will be shared by the WHO country office,” he said.

The WHO director-general also said he recognized the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka and the impact of Covid-19 on the health system.

The Director General of WHO also said that WHO will closely monitor health risks for the population, including the functionality and resilience of the health system, and provide the necessary technical assistance to strengthen provincial health services. , Colombo Gazette reported.

Reeling from the economic crisis, Sri Lanka’s health sector is also under pressure.

Notably, Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented shortage of drug supplies as people have taken to the streets against the government to protest the ongoing economic crisis.

With many Sri Lankans experiencing extreme shortages of basic necessities, including food and fuel, peaceful protests began in March. The protests led then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign on May 9, and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to flee the country on July 13 and resign the following day.

Ranil Wickremesinghe became interim president and Parliament elected him new president on July 20 with the support of the political party of the Rajapaksas, Sri Lanka Podjana Peramuna. He had previously called some protesters “fascists” and declared a state of emergency on July 18.

On July 21, Wickremesinghe gave the order to “call from July 22, 2022, all members of the armed forces…for the maintenance of public order.”

Under emergency powers, the president can strike down, change, or suspend a provision of any law except the Constitution. Emergency powers can be used to detain people while circumventing ordinary court procedure and have been used repeatedly in the past to enable human rights abuses.

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