Pakistan today said it will send 10,000 metric tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka which is facing its worst drought in four decades. It has already initiated the procedure for shipment in this regard and the first shipment of the consignment will depart from Pakistan today and reach Sri Lanka on April 3.
The Foreign Office said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed authorities to provide all necessary assistance to the government and the drought-affected people of Sri Lanka. “The procedure for dispatch of 10,000 metric tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka through containerised shipments has been initiated,” it said. “The Government and people of Pakistan stand shoulder to shoulder with the brotherly people of Sri Lanka in this hour of need and will continue to provide all possible support to them,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. Earlier, 25 MT rice have already been dispatched to Colombo, on 8th February through a Pakistani Air Force aircraft, as immediate short term assistance.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst drought in four decades with more than a million people experiencing acute water shortages, according to officials. The shortage of rain last year has lowered water levels in rivers in parts of the country. The country is facing a shortage of rice, the main staple food in the country, as the Maha season rice crop in 2017 is significantly impaired by the severe drought.