Thu, 07 Jul 2022

Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 21 (ANI): The ongoing discussion between International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Sri Lanka, to help mitigate the economic situation will conclude on May 24, local media reported on Saturday.

Speaking at a virtual IMF briefing on Thursday, IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice said the technical discussions between Sri Lanka and the IMF on a potential loan programme will come to a close on May 24.

He said that the agency is closely monitoring the events that are unfolding in the crisis-hit island nation.

The IMF spokesperson stressed that the IMF remains committed to helping Sri Lanka and that it would help resolve the current economic crisis.

"We are concerned...especially, the hardships being endured by the people of Sri Lanka and especially many of those people poor and vulnerable. So, we are clearly monitoring the political and economic developments very closely," Rice was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror newspaper.

He further said an IMF team has been engaged in technical discussions on the authorities' request for an IMF-supported programmeSri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices, and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests which culminated in the resignation of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka is one of the few nations which is expected to go without food due to the global food shortage expected this year.

"Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has named a few nations including Sri Lanka and Afghanistan which are expected to go without food," the newly appointed PM told the Sri Lankan Parliament.

"Sri Lanka will have to prepare for the food shortage and cultivate food crops in abandoned land, even in Colombo City. There are many lands belonging to the Railways Department which are neglected and can be used to grow food. I will talk to the World Bank to get some assistance," he added. (ANI)

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