October 27, 2020
The Country Representative of the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), Ms. Brenda Barton paid a courtesy call on the Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne at the Defence Ministry today (Oct 27).
The meeting was intended to discuss the national priorities and policies to continue the WFP cooperation through on-going phase of WFP assistance by country strategic plan 2018-2020.
Accordingly, WFP operation in Sri Lanka under their current country strategic plan was briefed to the Defence Secretary during the meeting.
The Director General, Disaster Management Centre (DMC), Maj. Gen. (Retd) Sudantha Ranasinghe and the WFP Policy Officer Mr. Indu Abeyratne were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, Ms. Barton appreciated the COVID-19 preventive measures taken by the Government during past few months.
Further, views were also exchanged on the current COVID-19 outbreak response and WFP’s support to the Government of Sri Lanka during the situation.
The conversation was also focused on WFP’s support together with its partners to strengthen the emergency response mechanism in the country especially to contain the pandemic.
The Director General DMC highlighted the WFP’s assistance to the emergency management during the past.
During the session, WFP country representative highlighted the significant role played by the tri-forces and other law enforcement agencies to contain the pandemic.
Maj. Gen. Gunaratne also explained the supportive measures extended by the military and further briefed on the civil-military coordination existed throughout to facilitate the public in the curfew-imposed areas.
Defence Secretary congratulated the WFP for winning the Nobel Peace Prize while looking forward to stronger collaboration.
WFP donated a consignment of IT equipment to strengthen the district level emergency responding entities and non-food gears to pre-position to respond the onset North-East monsoon.
Further, both high officials had cordial discussions on matters of mutual relevance during the session.