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Sri lanka News – The Asian Development Bank said it had approved 200 million US dollars in emergency credits for Sri Lanka by re-purposing existing loans which will be used for farming, and income support for the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children.

“Food insecurity has severely affected the people of Sri Lanka amid the current economic difficulties,” Asako Maruyama, an ADB specialist dealing with South Asia.

“This assistance will expand direct financial support for the poor and vulnerable, boost livelihood development activities and agricultural production, and enhance social protection systems.”

“This fulfills the government’s request for a partial cancellation of loan proceeds from ongoing projects and to use the funds for this emergency intervention.”

The project involves a 3 month program to increase existing social assistance programs, including the Samurdhi subsidy program for low-income families, and allowances for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and kidney disease patients.

The project will support a temporary increase in the monthly value of food vouchers for pregnant and lactating women to be replaced with cash grants, and extend support to undernourished children under the age of 2.

To increase food production and offset increasing agricultural production costs, the project will provide financial support for a maximum of 2 hectares of land cultivated by each farmer in higher-yield zones during the upcoming cultivation season.

The ADB will administer a $3 million grant from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific for food, hygiene kits, and medicines, of vulnerable women, children, elders, and persons with disabilities in shelters and care homes.

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