US will build on assistance extended – US Ambassador
The United States looks forward to build on the assistance it has extended to Sri Lanka during the present crisis in the months to come, said US Ambassador Julie Chung at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce AGM on Friday.
The United States continues to stand by Sri Lanka during these challenging times. Over the past few weeks, we have announced $120 million in financing for Sri Lankan small and medium businesses, $27 million for the Sri Lankan dairy industry, and over $30 million in new humanitarian, technical and food security assistance to benefit Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable communities, Chung said.
The United States remains a friend and partner for Sri Lanka’s prosperity, and I look forward to our shared future and success in overcoming the present-day challenges, the Ambassador said.
For seventy years, the United States has provided foreign assistance, loans, trade opportunities and two-way educational exchange programs to help grow the Sri Lankan economy, increase domestic capacity, and support the prosperity and wellbeing of the Sri Lankan people, the US envoy said.
“Sri Lanka must invest in its people. It is vital to have a workforce with gender parity, with women literally at the table and in leadership roles.
Looking around this room, it’s clear we need more women in business and our work is not yet done,” Chung said, adding women should enjoy equal access to funding for their small and medium enterprises that operate in so many villages and towns across the island.
It is imperative that all Sri Lankans have access to quality public primary, secondary, and tertiary education, and training so that Sri Lanka retains and builds on the rightly earned reputation of having a highly educated, creative, and skilled workforce. Sri Lanka must protect democratic values such as the rule of law, respect for human rights for all, equal representation, and transparent Government to build peace and stability, she said.
“The chairman spoke about surviving through these challenging times. I like to take that a step further and say we need Sri Lanka not only to survive but also to thrive, to become stronger and better through this crisis,” Chung said.