Ranil’s statement on WHO funds false – Health Minister

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement that Sri Lanka has received US$ 230 million from the WHO is an utter lie, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said.

According to Minister Wanniarachchi, the total amount received from the WHO is US$ 1.9 million from the WHO Country Office in Sri Lanka and the rest of US$ 1,486,000 from the SEARO office in India. Minister Wanniarachchi pointed out that from these funds, the WHO Country Office in Sri Lanka had spent US$ 855,869 by June 05 for the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 control programme. It was the WHO Country Office in Sri Lanka which spent the funds. The Health Ministry did not spend those funds.

Minister Wanniarachchi stressed that the WHO has agreed to provide the rest of the funds, US$ 1,078,915 for Sri Lanka’s future COVID-19 control programme. The WHO Country Office in Sri Lanka has retained two (2) million euro (US$ 2.27 million) to support the Sri Lankan health sector until December 2021.

The WHO Country Office in Sri Lanka had spent US$ 686,716 to upgrade COVID-19 testing and laboratory facilities in Sri Lanka and spent another US$ 79,915 to strengthen COVID-19 surveillance activities.

The Office had also spent US$ 89,238 to raise awareness among people on COVID-19 prevention, she added.

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