The federal government has committed $50 million to support Sri Lanka as Australia’s South Asian neighbour continues to struggle with its economic and humanitarian crises.
The Albanese government made the announcement on Monday, with Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil also visiting Sri Lanka on the same day.
The funding will support Sri Lanka to meet its food and healthcare needs.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the nation’s worst economic crisis in 70 years had led to shortages of food, medicine and fuel.
“Not only do we want to help the people of Sri Lanka in its time of need, there are also deeper consequences for the region if this crisis continues,” she said in a statement.
Ms O’Neil’s trip also follows the interception of multiple asylum seeker boats travelling to Australia from the nation in recent weeks.
She will meet with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during her visit, as well as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister GL Peiris.
The minister will use the talks to discuss how Australia can assist Sri Lanka through its economic struggles, as well as combatting people smuggling.