Washington, DC – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led nine of her colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Blinken and USAID Administrator Power urging them to take swift action to provide meaningful support to the Sri Lankan people in the face of widespread food, fuel, and medicine shortages. They also called on the Administration to continue to support the Sri Lankan government and people as they work to implement democratic and economic reforms. These reforms include advancing efforts to address longstanding issues related to accountability and reconciliation and to meet broader U.S. foreign policy goals for the region.
“We remain deeply concerned by the unprecedented and disastrous economic crisis currently facing Sri Lanka,” the Members wrote. “Although we greatly appreciate the $11.75 million in new humanitarian and development assistance that USAID provided at the end of June, more is clearly needed now. We urge USAID to take immediate action to provide additional relief to the Sri Lankan people, including increased food, medical, and fuel aid.”
According to the World Food Programme, due to widespread economic issues, three in ten households, or approximately 6.26 million Sri Lankans, are unsure where they will get their next meal. An estimated 60 percent of Sri Lankans are skipping meals to stretch food supplies and hundreds of thousands are being forced to wait in extensive lines to acquire daily necessities. If the current economic situation does not improve soon, some experts warn that the number of those suffering from dangerous food insecurity could rise to 22 million, or one-third of the country’s population.
In addition to Rep. Titus this letter was signed by nine other Members of Congress, including Representatives Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Gwen Moore (D-WI), David E. Price (D-NC), Jim Costa (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), and James P. McGovern (D-MA).
Read today’s full letter