The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka led Individual Crowdfunding Facility; ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ platform went live today providing the opportunity for global citizens to contribute to alleviating the impacts of the crisis in the country: www.undp.org/srilanka/donate. Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst economic crisis since 1948, with 5.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (UN OCHA, 2022) and almost 6.3 million Sri Lankans not knowing where their next meal will come from (World Food Programme, 2022).
Lives are at stake and families are distraught as surgeries are postponed. Essential drugs, surgical consumables and laboratory items are out of stock at the national level. With highly restricted access to fuel and gas, supply chains are heavily disrupted, affecting all across the island, creating newly vulnerable communities everyday. To rally global support to rebuild the island nation rich in culture and diversity, the crowdfunding platform will facilitate contributions towards ongoing support to provide food security and medicines to the vulnerable people in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to the critical role the platform plays, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director, Bureau for Asia and the Pacific stated, “The ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ platform will enable people from across the globe to directly support vulnerable families in Sri Lanka through the procurement of critical medical supplies and strengthened food security efforts. The platform will provide full transparency over the use of funds, to ensure that these contributions will go exactly where they are needed. UNDP is committed to stand with the people of Sri Lanka in this time of need.”
In June 2022, UNDP in Sri Lanka launched the Private Sector Facility for Sri Lanka, to channel funds towards the health and food sectors; two of the most heavily affected sectors by the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Key private sector actors including Hemas Holdings PLC, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, Brandix Apparel Limited, Daraz Sri Lanka, Citi Foundation and Amana Bank have come forward to pledge their commitment through the facility to complement and strengthen the ongoing health sector efforts of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) overall technical lead on health for the UN; and food sector efforts led and coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) among others. Sarvodaya, the United Nations Global Compact Network Sri Lanka and oDoc Sri Lanka have also come on board as Strategic Partners of the facility.
The ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ crowdfunding platform will engage with well-known Sri Lankan and International personalities from across various fields, to echo and help reach wider global audiences interested in contributing towards essential crisis relief in Sri Lanka. Speaking on the importance of global citizens banding together for Sri Lanka at this time, former Sri Lankan cricketer and ICC match referee, Deshabandu Roshan Mahanama stated, “”What affects one, affects us all. Let’s come together in this time of need, not only for our generation, but for future generations as well. History has shown that Sri Lanka has always remained resilient during a crisis, let’s rebuild once more.”
Bringing together key marketing and branding support from well-known Sri Lankan private sector partners, oDoc Sri Lanka, Daraz and Dialog Axiata will provide assistance to the overall ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ campaign. Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Heshan Fernando, CEO and Co-Founder, oDoc Sri Lanka stated, “It is our social responsibility to step up and help the vulnerable in these times of need. We are grateful for the opportunity to join hands with UNDP Sri Lanka and the other leading corporates to help our fellow Sri Lankans.”
Also commenting on their role in the campaign, Mr. Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director, Daraz Sri Lanka noted, “It is time for us to come together and lift up our communities. The ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ platform is a great way of using technology to meet the needs of our nation, and we at Daraz support this initiative because using technology to uplift and empower communities is at the heart of what we do. We will deploy our technology, platform, reach, and partnerships to ensure this initiative is a success and carries support to those most affected by the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka.”
Through the ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ platform, interested individuals can contribute to two ailing sectors: healthcare and food. Contributions will be used to address the current shortage in vital, essential and non-essential medical supplies and towards procuring seed materials for farmers for harvesting, and materials and awareness for strengthening home gardening activities among families. Every donation counts, donate today: www.undp.org/srilanka/donate