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UK using its 'significant voice in international debt fora' to help resolve Sri Lanka's economic crisis

British Minister of State at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Amanda Milling, said the UK has a "significant voice in international debt fora" and is working with organisations such as the World Banka and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to work on solutions to resolve Sri Lanka's deepening economic crisis.

Milling responded to a question posed by David Lammy, the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, who asked what steps the UK was taking with its "international counterparts to resolve the political and economic situation in Sri Lanka."

The Minister replied:

"The UK is providing economic support through multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund...The World Bank have announced assistance of US$400 million which includes funds to provide economic as well as health support."

"The UK has a significant voice in international debt fora. We are working closely with fellow Paris Club members and multilateral organisations, including the World Bank, on solutions to Sri Lanka's debt crisis. We are also supporting the UN and its agencies in their coordinated response based on the UN's joint Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) Plan, launched on 9 June. This called for $47.2 million to provide life-saving assistance to 1.7 million people who are most at risk and need immediate support," she added. 

Milling also noted that the UK were "closely monitoring the fast-moving situation" on the island, including the recent appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as President. In her response, the minister also highlighted that the UK is "encouraging all sides to find a peaceful, democratic, and inclusive approach to resolving the current political and economic challenges in Sri Lanka" amidst a renewed crackdown on the island. 

Last week, the World Bank announced that it “does not plan to offer new financing in Sri Lanka” until the crisis-hit island has an “adequate macroeconomic policy framework in place.”

In their statement, the lender emphasised that  in order for Sri Lanka to receive further financing it requires reforms that will address “the root structural causes that created this crisis to ensure that Sri Lanka’s future recovery and development is resilient and inclusive.”

Sri Lanka is currently in talks with the IMF to discuss a bailout as it deals with it's worst economic crisis in decades. 


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