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Sri Lanka seeks World Bank loan to fight Covid after financial meltdown

Sri Lanka's Covid blues

Sri Lanka, which declared an economic emergency after a sharp fall in its currency and surge in food prices, will seek an emergency loan of $100 million from the World Bank. According to an AFP report, the loan is for a coronavirus vaccination drive.

The report said that the island nation has been hit severely by the Covid-19 pandemic. As many as 12,000 lives have been lost due to Covid while over over half a million people in Sri Lanka have been infected so far.

The report quoted a government statement saying that the World Bank has shown its willingness to provide the required financial assistance to buy 14 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Also read: SL extends nationwide quarantine curfew till Oct 1

Earlier, Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency with the aim of preventing hoarding of essential items which included rice and sugar.

The Covid 19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the economy of Sri Lanka, which has been facing financial challenges for sometime. Following the declaration of the economic emergency, the country received $787 million from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) special drawing rights (SDR) allocation.

According to the AFP report, Sri Lanka has managed to administer both doses of the Covid vaccines procured from China to more than half of its 21 million people but despite this, the country has been hit by a brutal Covid 19 wave since April.