The Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Sri Lankan Missions abroad, together with the Presidential Secretariat and the Task Force on COVID-19, have hitherto facilitated the repatriation of more than 9,580 Sri Lankans in 38 countries.
As of June 16, nearly 52,401 Sri Lankans in 117 countries have made requests to return to the island.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dinesh Gunawardena has stated this, briefing the Cabinet of Ministers during its latest meeting on the measures taken by the Foreign Ministry and the Sri Lankan Missions abroad to address the issues related to vulnerable segments of local expatriates amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic.
In the meantime, 10 more flights have been arranged to repatriate Sri Lankans from 10 countries between June 24 and July 07, the Minister has said further.
Over Rs. 42.6 million has been funded to Sri Lanka Missions for providing dry rations, basic medicines, safety equipment and safe transportation to vulnerable segments in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Foreign Ministry has also taken steps to send 5,000 bags worth Rs. 15.5 million containing dry rations and medicines to the Maldives, UAE and Qatar where there is a shortage of goods and difficulty in purchasing dry rations.
Meanwhile, diplomatic representations have been made by the Sri Lankan Missions to meet the needs of Sri Lankans overseas and maintain continuous contact with Sri Lankans, the Minister has said.
Additional steps have been taken to provide necessary services from the nearest Sri Lankan Diplomatic Missions concerning the countries where Sri Lankan Missions are not in operation.
Sri Lankan Diplomatic Missions have been working to identify new markets and increase the demand in existing markets in order to revive the economy of Sri Lanka by minimizing the impact of the global plague, Minister Gunawardena further told the Cabinet.