Colombo [Sri Lanka], April 29 (ANI): With the overarching aim of providing critical medical aid to Sri Lanka during the ongoing economic crisis, Indian Naval Ship Gharial, as part of Mission SAGAR IX, arrived at Colombo on Friday and delivered over 760 kilograms of 107 types of critical lifesaving medicines.
The shipment was received by Health Minister of Sri Lanka, Channa Jayasumana, and would be supplied to the University of Peradeniya Hospital.
Taking to Twitter, Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka wrote, "From #India for their brethren in #Srilanka!!! A consignment of drugs and medical supplies was handed over by High Commissioner to Hon'ble Minister #ChannaJayasumana in #Colombo today. INS Gharial was deployed for ensuring expeditious delivery of the consignment to Sri Lanka."
In line with the Government of India's vision of SAGAR - Security And Growth for All in the Region - the Indian Navy undertakes several deployments titled 'Mission SAGAR' to assist friendly IOR littorals.
Since May 2020, the Indian Navy has successfully concluded eight such missions, deploying ten ships to 18 Friendly Foreign Countries. With a steadfast intent of delivering a high quantum of humanitarian assistance to our neighbours, personnel from ships and shore organisations of the Indian Navy have invested close to a million man-hours to bring succour to our friends, overseas.
Sri Lanka is now facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. It left the country unable to buy enough fuel, with people facing an acute scarcity of food and basic necessities, fuel, and gas.
In February, New Delhi provided a short-term loan of USD 500 million to Colombo for the purchase of petroleum products through the Ministry of Energy and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka.
Three months before that, in November 2021, India gave 100 tonnes of nano nitrogen liquid fertilisers to Sri Lanka as their government stopped the import of chemical fertilisers.
The total fuel delivered to the people of Sri Lanka, over the last 50 days, amounts to nearly 200,000 MT including a consignment of 40,000 MT, by Indian Oil Corporation, outside the line of credit facility, in February 2022. Energy Minister Gamini Lokuge thanked the Government of India for the fuel consignments.
India announced another USD 1 billion as a credit line to Sri Lanka to help shore up the sinking economy of the island nation. New Delhi also provided the stock of 11,000 MT of rice to Colombo. (ANI)