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Sri Lanka: Economic Situation

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 3572, tabled on 17 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support her Department is providing to the Sri Lankan Government in response to the financial situation in that country.

Answered on

25 May 2022

The UK Government is closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka including food security and livelihoods. We encourage a peaceful, democratic, and inclusive approach to resolving the current political and economic challenges. In April, the World Bank (WB) agreed to provide US Dollars 600 million in financial assistance, and we understand there are discussions to extend this support. The UK is a major donor to the WB and continues to engages with international financial institutions on Sri Lanka's economic situation.

We welcome the start of in-depth discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the reforms needed to bring the economy back to a sustainable path. These negotiations are likely to take up to 6 months. Sri Lanka has requested support from the IMF, however, at present no Sri Lanka proposal has been shared with members. When one is made available, we will scrutinise it carefully against the IMF criteria alongside other IMF members. In the meantime, discussions are underway with several countries to obtain bridge financing in order to maintain flows of essential imported goods. The UK is also working closely with fellow Paris Club members to discuss potential solutions to Sri Lanka's unsustainable debt levels in the event that an IMF programme is agreed.