Colombo, November 3: Bangladesh has pledged to Sri Lanka medical aid to the tune of Taka 10 crore (Tk 100 million or US$ 904.698) as an expression of friendship.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday ceremonially handed over to the Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Ruwanthi Delpitiya, some boxes of medicines manufactured in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh media said that the donation has been made in a spirit of friendship and good neighbourly relations “as envisioned by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”
The event was also attended by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, and high officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Essential Drugs Company Limited (EDCL) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In his remarks, Foreign Minister Dr Momen said that the offer of medicines, signified Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s eagerness to assist any nation in difficulties, in particular those in the neighbourhood in a spirit of goodwill.
Dr Momen assured that Bangladesh stands ready to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways. He expressed satisfaction with the way Sri Lanka has recovered from the economic crisis of 2022.
Bangladesh had sent to Sri Lanka medical supplies worth nearly Tk20 crore (US$ 1.8 million) in May 2022.
Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner Ruwanthi Dalpitiya expressed her sincere gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the government of Bangladesh.
The medical assistance is a testimony to the strong and long-standing friendship between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. She recalled that last year, Bangladesh had donated medical supplies when Sri Lanka was in the midst of an economic downturn.
The donations manifest the capability of the Bangladesh pharmaceutical industry to produce high-quality medicine. They also demonstrate Bangladesh’s resolve to maintain friendly and cooperative relations with her neighbours.
Bangladesh also donated medicine and other relief materials to Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Turkey and Palestine in recent months.
Meanwhile, during a courtesy call made by the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam on Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana recently, the High Commissioner emphasized that the consignment of medicines include 54 types of essential drugs, particularly those for cancer and kidney treatments.
Health Minister Pathirana, who expressed his gratitude towards the government of Bangladesh for their eager response to the request made by Sri Lanka and taking action for the grant of this pharmaceutical consignment as medical aid.
The High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka also discussed the need to prepare a long-term programme at the State level regarding the procurement of medicines between the two countries as a remedy for the shortage of medicines in Sri Lanka.