Colombo: Sri Lanka, which is struggling to raise money on Tuesday, called on the International Monetary Fund to arrange a creditors’ meeting for a $ 6 billion loan to help raise the country in the event of an unprecedented economic crisis. Months of daily power outages, long lines of gasoline, and record inflation have devastated the daily lives of 22 million people in South Asia’s island nation.

The government has already defaulted on $ 51 billion in foreign debt, and a serious shortage of foreign currency has prevented traders from importing enough food, fuel and other necessities. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said $ 5 billion is needed for daily needs in the next six months, and another $ 1 billion is needed to stabilize Sri Lanka’s rapidly declining rupees. .. “We call on the International Monetary Fund to hold a meeting to help unite our lending partners,” the Prime Minister told Congress.

He said the meeting with Sri Lanka’s three major bilateral lenders, China, Japan and India, under the auspices of the IMF, would be a “great force” in raising more loans. .. Sri Lanka is already in talks with the IMF for bailouts and has appointed international experts to help rebuild its debt, about half of which are international sovereign debt. Wickremesinghe again warned that the country was heading for a serious food shortage and said the United Nations had agreed to file an urgent action Thursday to raise humanitarian funding.

The tragic ban on pesticide imports introduced by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last year dramatically reduced crop yields and led to farmers’ protests. Policy was reversed a few months later, but Sri Lanka is now losing foreign currency to import fertilizers, pesticides and other coveted pesticides. Wickremesinghe took office in May after his predecessor, the president’s brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned after months of protests against the government’s economic scandals. At least nine people were killed and many more injured in the riots after a peaceful demonstrator was attacked outside President Rajapaksa’s office in Colombo last month. – AFP

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