An IMF delegation comes in Sri Lanka on Monday for negotiations on a rescue package, but time is running out for a country that is just days away from running out of petroleum and possibly months away from receiving any relief money.
Sri Lanka is facing its biggest financial crisis since independence in 1948, as decades of mismanagement and recent policy mistakes, along with a COVID-19 impact to tourism and remittances, have reduced foreign reserves to historic lows.
In April, the island country of 22 million people froze payments on a $12 billion debt. The United Nations has warned that surging inflation, a falling currency, and persistent gasoline, food, and medical shortages may lead to a humanitarian disaster.
The IMF team, which is in Colombo till June 30, will continue recent discussions on what would be Sri Lanka’s 17th rescue package, the IMF announced on Sunday.