PM Modi e-flags India-assisted emergency ambulance service in Sri Lanka

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi e-flags a countrywide emergency ambulance service for Sri Lanka through video conferencing from New Delhi. 

• The service has been introduced in two provinces of Sri Lanka with grant assistance from Government of India and is being expanded to remaining seven provinces.

• The inaugural function was held in Jaffna of Northern Province where Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other dignitaries were present. Prime Minister Modi had received a request for assistance for setting of an emergency ambulance service in Sri Lanka during his first visit to the country in March 2015.

• The service was introduced to cover the Western and Southern Provinces of Sri Lanka during July 2016.

• The service received enthusiastic response from Sri Lankan people and thousands of patients got benefitted through it.

• The service also bridged a critical gap in health services of Sri Lanka as the country lacked an emergency health care system. Keeping its success in mind, government of Sri Lanka further requested government of India to help expand the service to the entire country and fund it.

• This was also agreed and Prime minister Narendra Modi announced expansion of the service during his second visit to Sri Lanka in May last year. India has also undertaken many projects, together with Sri Lankan Government, particularly in education, health and community development sectors.

• India has given a grant of 22.8 million US dollars – $7.6 million in first phase and 15.2 million dollars for the country-wide expansion being launched today.

• Sri Lankan Prime Minister while signing MOU for the countrywide expansion stated: that this is a good example of the Indian success story being transferred to Sri Lanka.

• This is the largest Indian grant project in Sri Lanka after Indian housing project.

• Apart from providing ambulances, the grant covers training of manpower in India and meeting operational costs for one year. India and Sri Lanka have a history dating back thousands of years and both countries share close cultural and economic links.

• The project will be another milestone to Prime minister Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood policy’ and help bring the two neighbours further together.

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