Sri Lanka requires $3 billion in the next six months to avoid a crisis, according to the finance minister.


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Sri Lanka would require roughly $3 billion in foreign aid over the next six months to help restore basic supplies, such as fuel and medicines, in order to manage a serious economic crisis, the country’s finance minister said on Saturday.

Long-term power outages have devastated the island nation of 22 million people, causing shortages of drugs, fuel, and other necessities, provoking demonstrators to go to the streets and placing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa under increasing strain.

“It’s a Herculean task,” Finance Minister Ali Sabry told Reuters in his first interview since entering office last week, referring to the country’s preparations for talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) later this month.

Sri Lanka plans to restructure international sovereign obligations and seek a payment freeze, and is optimistic about reaching an agreement with bondholders for a $1 billion payment due in July.

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