Melbourne man Daya Silva feels for his sister, brother aunts and uncles back in his motherland, Sri Lanka.
He says the current economic crisis gripping the country is inevitable.
“Everything is hit hard one after the other, everything is down the line,” he said.
The country is not only out of fuel, but also has to deal with food shortages and the people who live there have to deal with prolonged power outages.
The government is currently negotiating a possible bailout for a $51 billion foreign debt it failed to pay in Aril.
All non-essential offices and schools have been told to close to cut commutes and conserve scarce energy, and frustrations over the situation have sparked months of widespread anti-government protests calling for President Gotabaya to resign. Rajapaksa.
Sri Lankan communities take action
While Mr Silva, like many other Sri Lankans living in Australia, feel powerless given the situation, they are doing what they can to support the people of Sri Lanka.
With drug shortages being felt in the country, the North Melbourne Sri Lankan Association, led by Mr Silva, has stepped up fundraising to donate money to the Australian Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team (AUSLMAT) to purchase medicines and deliver them. to send. †
Melbourne physician and Sinhala woman Erosha Premaratne is the president of AUSLMAT.
“Eighty percent of the drugs used in the country are imports, so there’s no money to buy them, so they’re not coming in,” said Dr. premaratne.
In recent months, AUSLMAT has been working to secure funding and obtain a variety of drugs to send to the country for use in its health system.
A donation from AUSLMAT of 1000 vials of antibiotics is delivered to Anuradhapura Hospital in Sri Lanka. Source: Delivered † AUSLMAT on Facebook
“They had a critical need for blood bags for the blood bank and we managed to ship a month’s supply,” she said.
“Without it, there would be no way to store and distribute blood. No one would be able to get a blood transfusion.”
dr. Premaratne hopes foreign aid will soon reach Sri Lankan hospitals to meet some of the health system’s needs, but says the country’s ongoing food shortages will continue to impact the health of Sri Lankans for years to come due to people experience malnutrition.
Sydney-based non-profit Anbaalayam Australia knows this means there will be even greater demand for the support it currently provides in Sri Lanka.
Organisation’s member Rahul Ramesh, who is part of the Tamil community, said it was more difficult than usual for his father to get a van to get around as fuel shortages started to affect daily life.
Anbaalayam, which Ramesh’s father helped found 14 years ago, provides support to most in the north and east of the country, many of whom were living below the poverty line before this economic crisis, Ramesh says.
Representatives from Anbaalayam Australia on a recent trip to Sri Lanka. Source: Delivered † Anbaalayam Australia via Facebook
In addition to coordinating child sponsorship, the organization delivers a number of ‘livelihood projects’ that aim to help people become self-sufficient.
But with the current economic situation, Mr Ramesh said, even more people in Sri Lanka are now struggling to support their families and there is a much greater need for the kind of support Anbaalayam provides.
“I think the situation we’re in, we feel like we owe it to our family and an extended kind of community to support them through those difficult times,” he said.
Anbaalayam will be raising money this weekend as part of their annual Ilam Thendral event, which will feature Sri Lankan food and music, to be held in Bankstown.
ASLMAT will be hosting ‘Heal our nation’ the following weekend, another cultural event that will raise money for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment to be sent to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka hiked interest rates by one percentage point on Friday, the second soaring in three months, as the central bank reiterated Prime Minister Rail Wickremesinghe’s prediction on Tuesday that the country was likely to plunge into recession this year.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka raised its benchmark deposit and loan interest rate to 14.5 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively, after data showed inflation rose to a record 54.6 percent last month.
Officials said the hike was intended to curb runaway prices, expected to rise 80 percent by the end of the year, and ease mounting demand pressures in the fragmented economy.