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Indonesia sends aid to drought-hit Sri Lanka

14th February 2017 | 1.733 Views
Indonesia sends aid to drought-hit Sri Lanka
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) check the rice aid was witnessed Minister Retno Marsudi (second right), and Minister PMK Puan Maharani currently shipping rice aid to Sri Lanka in Central Warehousing Drive Bulog Jakarta, Tuesday (Feb. 14, 2017). (ANTARA/Rosa Panggabean)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - As a friend, Indonesia will help Sri Lanka, which is currently facing a food crisis because of drought, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on Tuesday.

The country is going through a prolonged dry spell, and more than one million of its people are facing acute water shortage and a food crisis.

"As friends, it is appropriate that Indonesia help Sri Lanka face this difficult situation," President Jokowi said, as the country delivered humanitarian aid in the form of 5,000 metric tons of rice to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

The foodgrain was delivered following a request made by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena through the countrys ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta. "I immediately responded to the request and asked the ministers concerned to send the aid, and Alhamdulillah, today, we can send it to Sri Lanka," Jokowi said.

The Indian Express reported that the Sri Lankan government has declared a state of alert in response to the worst drought the country has faced in four decades. It has implemented measures such as water-use restrictions, deployed soldiers, established a presidential commission and urged its citizens to consume water prudently.

The Sri Lankan National Water Supply and Sanitation Council on Sunday warned of the need to rationalize the consumption of drinking water as the countrys current reserve is expected to last for only two months.

Alahudeen Ansar, head of the Council, said the demand for drinking water has increased by 15 per cent and that measures have been taken to restrict its use in many areas in the 13 affected districts.
(Uu.O001/INE/KR-BSR/F001)