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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ambassador McCain’s visit highlights FAO, IFAD and WFP work in Sri Lanka

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The United States Permanent Representative to the UN Agencies in Rome, Ambassador Cindy McCain concluded a two-day official visit to the North Western and Central Provinces of Sri Lanka. Accompanied by the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, Ambassador McCain visited several projects of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

“I am very pleased to have been able to see in person the positive impact the UN food and agricultural agencies are having here in Sri Lanka,” Ambassador McCain remarked at the conclusion of her visit.

“The projects we saw over the past few days showcase how the US Government, the UN food and agriculture agencies and the Government of Sri Lanka can collaborate to reduce hunger and food insecurity, and improve nutrition and livelihoods for vulnerable communities. We must continue to reinforce this collaboration to ensure the people of Sri Lanka can recover and thrive.”

“The United States is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people to emerge from this crisis, and our robust support to WFP and FAO are an essential part of that response,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung.

“Our total assistance to Sri Lanka during the crisis now totals nearly US$239 million, funding that supports food security and addresses the needs of vulnerable communities through FAO and WFP while also pursuing longer term solutions to Sri Lanka’s complex challenges. Ambassador McCain’s visit is an opportunity for us to take a closer look at the impact of our funding and the evolving needs of the Sri Lankan people.”

During the visit, the Ambassadors, joined by FAO Representative to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Vimlendra Sharan, first visited a school garden supported by FAO in the Kuliyapitiya district.

The garden is one of 100 school gardens established by FAO to promote home gardening and tackle food security among school children.

Together with WFP Representative and Country Director in Sri Lanka Abdur Rahim Siddiqui, the Ambassadors then met with a group of people from the Kurunegala district and heard first-hand accounts of the difficulties they face against a backdrop of rising food prices and reduced incomes.

The Ambassadors also visited the Biosafety lab established by FAO at the Agricultural Biotechnology Centre of the University of Peradeniya. With IFAD Country Director for the Maldives and Sri Lanka Sherina Tabassum, the Ambassadors met Janaka Amarasinghe, the project director for the IFAD-were also present.

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