Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa presents his national statement as a part of the World Leaders' Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS
March 13, 2022
By Uditha Jayasinghe
COLOMBO (Reuters) – A senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official will be visiting Sri Lanka on Monday and Tuesday to brief President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the fund’s assessment of the crisis-hit economy, Sri Lanka mission chief Masahiro Nozaki told Reuters.
“While the IMF has not received a request for financial support from Sri Lanka, the staff stands ready to discuss options if requested,” Nozaki said.
The visit comes ahead of plans by Sri Lanka to hold formal talks with the IMF next month on how to help the country.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst financial crisis in years. With foreign exchange reserves standing at a paltry $2.31 billion, the country is struggling to pay for critical imports including fuel, food and medicines.
In a periodic review release earlier this month, the IMF called on the government to implement a “credible and coherent” strategy to repay debt and restore macroeconomic stability.
(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe in Colombo; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)