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600MT of fortified rice funded by USAID arrives in Colombo

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An initial shipment of 600 metric tons of fortified rice funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) arrived in Sri Lanka last week to support the Government of Sri Lanka’s national school meal program.
The shipment is part of a larger food assistance initiative by USAID and WFP that includes 3,950 metric tons of fortified rice, 768 metric tons of red lentils, 1,188 metric tons of soya, and a planned 2,310 metric tons of maize. This assistance will help provide school meals and nutritional supplements for 1.7 million children as well as 300,000 pregnant and lactating mothers.

“US-SL relations celebrate 75 years this year, and ours has been a story of friendship and partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung. “The American people swiftly responded when Sri Lanka’s economic crisis reduced access to nutritional food for many Sri Lankans, including children and mothers. This shipment reflects our continued commitment to the people of Sri Lanka.”

According to a Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission report by U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly thirty percent of the Sri Lankan population is currently facing food insecurity. Through ongoing initiatives as well as new funding and food shipments, the United States is working with the Government of Sri Lanka, the WFP, and other partners to address these needs.
The United States has announced more than $270 million in new support to Sri Lanka over the last year. “As one of Sri Lanka’s longstanding development partners, we recognize how critical daily vital micronutrient intake is for young people. Therefore, child and maternal feeding programs were one of USAID’s very first assistance interventions in Sri Lanka, more than six decades ago,” said Gabriel Grau, USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives.

 “We are grateful for USAID’s assistance, which has enabled WFP to rapidly expand its emergency operation to reach the most food-insecure communities,” said Abdur Rahim Siddiqui, WFP Sri Lanka Representative and Country Director. “The latest shipment of fortified rice funded by USAID will support the continuation of the school meal program while providing children with added nutrients through a mix of iron and folic acid, relieving parents who are struggling to provide healthy meals to their families.”
Pregnant and lactating mothers will receive Thriposha – a nutrition intervention in Sri Lanka that provides a combination of energy, protein, and micronutrients as a ‘ready-to-eat’ cereal.

This initiative is one component of the longstanding partnership between the American and Sri Lankan people to promote economic prosperity and democratic good governance for all Sri Lankans.

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Colombo air show and CADE 2024 exhibition postponed to next year

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The Colombo Air Show and Defence Exhibition (CADE 2024), initially set to take place from May 29 to June 2 at Galle Face and Colombo Port City, has been postponed to next year, according to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

The SLAF stated that the decision to reschedule the event was made in response to multiple requests from international partners, defence industry stakeholders, and foreign Air Forces. This postponement aims to enhance participation and provide a more diverse experience for spectators.

The rescheduled event will now be held from February 26 to March 2, 2025, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

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 Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrives in Sri Lanka

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The Global Peace Ambassador and Spiritual Leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon (18) for a three-day visit. He was welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake by State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman.

During his stay from May 18 to 20, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will participate in an event titled ‘Ekamuthuva: An Evening of Music, Meditation and Wisdom,’ which will be held at Taj Samudra on May 19. Renowned for his global humanitarian efforts and as a peace envoy, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also an Indian yoga guru and the founder of ‘Transcendental Meditation’.

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President leaves for Indonesia

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for Indonesia this morning (18) to attend the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting in Bali, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The 10th World Water Forum is being held from May 18th to 20th in Bali, Indonesia.

This significant gathering, themed “Water for Shared Prosperity,” will convene global leaders to address pressing issues related to water management and sustainability.

President Wickremesinghe left for Indonesia on Saturday, following an invitation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, underscoring Sri Lanka’s commitment to international cooperation on water-related challenges.

Scheduled to deliver a keynote address on May 20th, President Wickremesinghe will articulate Sri Lanka’s perspective on achieving equitable access to water resources for all, the President’s Media Division said.

During the forum, President Wickremesinghe is expected to engage in bilateral discussions, including a meeting with President Widodo, to explore avenues for collaborative action in water resource management.

His delegation, comprising senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects Sri Lanka’s comprehensive approach to addressing global water issues.

President Wickremesinghe’s participation underscores Sri Lanka’s proactive role in advancing sustainable solutions to ensure water security, not only domestically but also on the global stage, the PMD said.

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