Japan handed over the first consignment of a total donation of USD 1.5 million value of medicines being procured through UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) to address the severe shortage of medicines in hospitals and clinics in Sri Lanka.
The vital assistance will be used to provide much-needed healthcare for children, pregnant mothers, and their families, especially in some of the most vulnerable regions.
The supply of medicines was handed over by the Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki and the UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, a.i Ms. Emma Brigham to the Minister of Health, Keheliya Rambukwella.
Ambassador of Japan, Mizukoshi Hideaki said, “It is our great honour that the Government of Japan has provided the first batch of essential medicines in a timely manner at this critical moment through the support of UNICEF to meet the urgent requirement for life-saving medicines in Sri Lanka. We hope that this assistance will reach millions of vulnerable individuals to help overcome the challenges faced at this economic crisis.”
The Medical Supplies Division (MSD) of the MOH will be distributing the medicines targeting the most vulnerable and high-risk areas, based on depleting stocks of medicines in each district.
“We thank the Government and the people of Japan for responding to UNICEF’s appeal for Sri Lanka by providing crucial life-saving support for children and families during this very challenging time in the country,” said Emma Brigham, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, a.i. “The current crisis is stretching vital social services including health care to its limits and assistance such as this, can help bring some relief,” she said.
Nearly 5.7 million people including 2.3 million children are being impacted by the combined burden of poverty, the pandemic, and the economic crisis. UNICEF recently launched a global appeal calling for urgent assistance for Sri Lanka. Development partners including the Government of Japan have responded with much-needed support.