The Australian government has pledged to provide $50 million in assistance for Sri Lanka.
The Australian government will commit $22 million to the World Food Programme for emergency food assistance – estimated to help three million people in Sri Lanka.
Australia will also provide another $23 million in development assistance to Sri Lanka in 2022-23.
The Australian High Commission in Colombo said the funding will support Sri Lanka to meet its food and healthcare needs.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the nation’s worst economic crisis in 70 years had led to shortages of food, medicine and fuel.
She said in a statement, “Not only do we want to help the people of Sri Lanka in its time of need; there are also deeper consequences for the region if this crisis continues.”
The announcement comes as Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security of Australia Clare O’Neil arrived in the country earlier today.
The Australian High Commission in Colombo said Minister O’Neil is due to hold discussions with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister GL Peiris.
The visit follows a phone call between Minister Peiris and Minister O’Neil early last week and coincides with the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Australia.
The High Commission said Minister O’Neil will discuss with Sri Lankan officials on how Australia can deepen cooperation and assist Sri Lanka as the country faces very difficult economic times, as well as strengthening engagement on transnational crime, including people smuggling.