In the first big food aid since Colombo obtained a credit line from New Delhi, Indian traders have begun packing 40,000 tonnes of rice for immediate shipping to Sri Lanka.
However, on Saturday, a delivery of 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel from India arrived in Sri Lanka.
Last month, India, the world’s largest rice exporter, agreed to give a $1 billion credit line to assist Sri Lanka in alleviating catastrophic shortages of vital products such as gasoline, food, and medication.
“Rice loading in southern ports has begun,” said B.V. Krishna Rao, general director of Pattabhi Agro Foods, which is importing rice to Sri Lanka State Trading (General) Corp under the Indian Credit Facility Agreement.
High Commission of India in Colombo tweeted, “More fuel supplies delivered by India to SriLanka! A consignment of 40,000 MT of diesel under Indian assistance through Line of Credit of $500 mn was handed over by High Commissioner to Hon’ble Energy Minister Gamini Lokuge in Colombo today.”
Following violent protests over the country’s greatest economic crisis in decades, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa imposed a statewide state of emergency late Friday.