Token of Friendship: Drought Relief Assistance from the Republic of Korea
In an effort to support the ongoing operations of the Sri Lankan government to mitigate the continued drought situation in the country, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) handed over eight lorry mounted 13,200L water bowsers to the government of Sri Lanka, at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday 28 July, 2017. The items were handed over to H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena by the Korean Ambassador H.E. Mr. Chang Won Sam, in the presence of the Hon. Minister of Disaster Management, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Hon. Hong Moon-jong & Hon. Yoo Ki-june, two senior Members of the National Assembly of Korea and Mr. Lee Dong-ku, Country Director of KOICA Sri Lanka Office, among others.
The above relief assistance was provided as a follow-up measure to the decision taken by the Korean government to provide humanitarian assistance worth USD 200,000 to Sri Lanka, during Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se’s visit to Sri Lanka in March 2017.
During the talks with the President, the discussion focused on the 40th Anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties which falls on November this year and the many commemorative activities organized by the two countries to mark this special occasion. Both parties acknowledged that during the past four decades bilateral relations between Korea and Sri Lanka had solidified over a variety of fields, while many areas still remained open for future cooperation.
It was further highlighted that through KOICA’s projects, Sri Lanka could gain much from Korea’s development experience as well as from its present cutting-edge technology and knowhow to aid its own sustainable development process. In this regard, the sharing of Korean technology on fisheries post-harvest treatment and storage skills with Sri Lanka has been suggested as a possible area of mutual cooperation; initial steps for such projects taking place through KOICA project for ‘Establishment of masterplan and capacity building for the Ocean University of Sri Lanka’. Both sides also agreed to further strengthen the existing cooperative ties in various areas of mutual interest such as migrant workers, education and culture, and people-to-people exchanges.
Earlier this year, the Government of the Republic of Korea and KOICA had also delivered humanitarian assistance worth of USD 300,000 in the form of relief goods including family tents, blankets and tarpaulins, immediately after the floods and landslides which affected the island, along with a message of condolence from H.E. Moon Jae-in, the President of the Republic of Korea.