Private sector aids health sector
To address the immediate needs of the ongoing socio-economic crisis, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka leveraged its experience to develop a facility, comprising two mechanisms: first, by channelling private sector funds towards procuring essential and non-essential medical supplies and addressing food security; and second, by channelling individual donations through the UNDP.
Hemas Holdings PLC, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, and Daraz Sri Lanka pledged financial support to buy and distribute important medicines and medical supplies. Medicines and medical supplies were recently donated to the Ministry of Health by Ms. Kasthuri Chellaraja Wilson, Executive Director, Group CEO, Hemas Holdings PLC; Mr. Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director, Daraz Sri Lanka; Mr. Darshana Gunesekera, Group Finance Director, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company; and Ms. Malin Herwig, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka.
Kasthuri Chellaraja Wilson, Executive Director, Group CEO, Hemas Holdings PLC, highlighted the role of the private sector in this initiative: “As Sri Lanka navigates the current economic crisis, it is important for private sector entities to come forward to support our communities facing many hardships.” I commend UNDP’s initiative to bring together corporations to guarantee underprivileged people have access to crucial pharmaceuticals. As a leader in pharmaceutical manufacture and distribution, we feel pleased to be a part of this project and are committed to helping people in need.
Dr. Anver Hamdani, Director Medical Technical Services, Coordinating In Charge/ COVID-19, Ministry of Health, said, “In Sri Lanka, the medical sector has been badly affected by shortages of medicine and other necessary supplies to assist the needy. The Ministry of Health is grateful for the support in procuring critical and non-essential medical supplies for Sri Lankans and looks forward to continued partnership.
Daraz Sri Lanka’s Managing Director, Rakhil Fernando, said, “We are appreciative for the initiative coordinated by UNDP Sri Lanka that increases private sector participation and draws on the potential of ICT platforms to bring in much-needed financial, medical, and food support for Sri Lanka.” Daraz’s objective is to uplift communities and alter lives via technology. We will continue to use our resources, technology, and reach to support local and regional partners with relief operations.
Darshana Gunesekera, Group Finance Director, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, added, “It’s been a hard few years for our lovely island with the Easter Attacks, COVID-19, and now an economic crisis. This was a much-needed UNDP initiative, and we’re proud to have participated. Our Founder’s business-with-a-purpose concept has always included improving healthcare for our communities. Children and adults in Sri Lanka are suffering from medicine shortages caused by the ongoing crisis. As significant private sector organisations, we must collaborate for a better future for our country.
UNDP-led facility partners with Hemas Holdings PLC, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, Brandix Apparel Limited, Daraz Sri Lanka, Citi Foundation, and Amana Bank to boost health and food sector efforts. Strategic Partners include Sarvodaya, UN Global Compact Network Sri Lanka, and oDoc Sri Lanka. www.undp.org/srilanka/donate
Ms. Malin Herwig, Officer-in-Charge, UNDP in Sri Lanka, said, “At this critical time, UNDP has used its global procurement network to quickly get the needed medicines to Sri Lanka, working closely with WHO Sri Lanka and all relevant counterparts to respond to the current context of the health sector.” The donated drugs contribute to Sri Lankans’ needs.