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China Grants Free Fuel to Sri Lankan Farmers & Fishermen

Sri Lanka also reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this month for a USD 2.9 billion loan, which is expected to help the country emerge from its crisis.

KJ Staff

China announced on Sunday that it had donated 10.6 million litres of diesel to Sri Lankan farmers and fishermen to help them work in the most affected agricultural and fishing sectors. On Sunday, Sri Lanka's Minister of Fisheries, Douglas Devananda, received the vessel carrying the fuel donation.

"China's 10.6 million litres of diesel donation will be provided free of charge to 2,32,749 farmers for harvesting 3,42,266 hectares of paddy fields, at a rate of 20 litres per hectare," the Chinese Embassy in Colombo tweeted.

The embassy also stated that 3,796 fishing vessels under 40 feet in length would receive 1,000 litres per vessel. "We are grateful to the Chinese government for donating 9,000 MT of diesel fuel to help strengthen food security in Sri Lanka," said Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara in a statement.

The farming and fishing industries have complained about fuel scarcity, which has harmed them since the government began rationing fuel in early August. Rationing ended the miles-long fuel lines on the island from May to July. However, the business sectors objected, claiming that the allocations were insufficient.

Since the Sri Lankan economy crashed at the start of this year, dedicated Indian credit lines have ensured fuel and essential supplies. The assistance provided by India in the forex crisis caused the economic impasse was valued at USD 4 billion.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, was thrown into financial and political turmoil earlier this year due to a currency shortage. As a result, the country has been unable to afford critical imports such as fuel, fertilizer, and medicine, resulting in serpentine lines.

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