The Government of Canada has provided over CAD $56,000 (approximately 7.5 million LKR) to support Sri Lanka’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic through targeted relief to some of those most affected in vulnerable communities.

The funds are being granted to the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), the Canadian High Commission in Colombo said in a media release.

The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka is part of the Civil Society Committee of the Presidential Covid-19 Task Force. With an established network around the country, consisting of district level NGOs and inter-religious committees, the NPC will provide dry rations to many districts nation-wide. As the lockdown and 24-hour curfew has proved a serious challenge to many, the NPC will assist those in dire need.

David McKinnon, High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka said, “I am impressed by the resolve of individuals, organizations and the various levels of government in Sri Lanka in responding to this unprecedented global crisis”.  Mr McKinnon continued, “Through Canada’s support, we hope to assist the most vulnerable communities as they combat this disease and its severe economic impacts. I am glad we could work with the NPC to respond quickly to an identified need, working across communities and around the country”.

As a response to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic – and to continue its mission to build trust in society and strengthen relations between ethnic and religious communities – the NPC will engage in crisis mitigation interventions by supplying dry rations to institutions, marginalized individuals and families identified by its partner network and state officials nation-wide. This will include persons with disabilities (PWDs), female-headed households, orphanages, long-term care facilities as well as elders’ homes, the media release said.

“There is a need for solidarity at this time across people, ethnicities, religions, regions and countries.  We are happy to be a part of this process to look after the most affected with Canada’s assistance,” said the Executive Director of NPC, Dr. Jehan Perera.

The NPC believes that engaging in these activities will strengthen collaboration across ethnic and religious divides and encourage future integration. As always, Canada is honoured to work with local organizations for a prosperous, inclusive and healthy Sri Lanka.