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US donates $1.3 million to Sri Lanka as part of ‘resilient’ relationship

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it would donate $1.3 million USD to Sri Lanka to help support coronavirus prevention efforts, which are currently being led by a commander who is barred from travel to the US.

“Funding will provide Sri Lanka support to activate case finding and event-based surveillance, technical experts for response and preparedness, risk communication, infection prevention and control, and more,” said the US embassy in a press release earlier today.

The head of the Sri Lankan military, Shavendra Silva, is currently head of the government’s coronavirus task force, which has employed a strategy that has seen the military deployed as first responders and ‘quarantine centres’ detaining thousands set up on the island. Silva is credibly accused of overseeing war crimes and subject to a US travel ban.

“Through even the most difficult times, Americans and Sri Lankans support one another as partners and friends,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz.  “This donation reflects our enduring relationship, resilient even in the face of this global pandemic.  As in the past, we are proud to provide critical support to help Sri Lanka combat COVID-19.” 

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