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Speeches Shim

August 24, 2020

Saad Farook, a youth from Kandy with exceptional analytical skill, had a bright future ahead of him until misfortune struck. In 2016, Saad was forced to leave his undergraduate program at the university he was attending, two years before graduation with a ICT degree. “My dream was to become an applied data scientist. So, I chose to follow a BSc degree in ICT. I was a self-learner. I was even on the Dean’s list in my first year at the university. Due to financial difficulties and social pressure, I had to step down. It was my first setback in life. I thought my dream to excel in ICT was over,” recalled Saad. However, with Saad’s skills and passion, and support from the USAID’s Youth Employment and Business Start-up Program (YouLead), Saad was able to get his life back on track and make his professional dream a reality.

August 24, 2020

Flashback to August 2018, when a group of people are on a pier in the midday heat, waiting for the familiar sight of the ferry. This ‘moving bridge’ would take them to the other side of the river. Until the ferry arrives, they are exposed to the scorching heat, their minds revisiting the risks of an impending ride across a deep river on an ill-made ferry. Those are risks they have long chosen to accept in the absence of a safer alternative.  On the sun-baked eastern coast of Sri Lanka, these people from two remote villages remain separated by a giant body of water, with a conspicuously missing structure: a bridge.

August 10, 2020

The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), awarded US $1.5 million to the Sarvodaya  Shramadana Movement to support local community leaders in developing emergency response and mitigation strategies in disaster-prone areas across Sri Lanka.  The new funding will strengthen community resilience and improve coordination between local stakeholders and international relief agencies over two years.

July 27, 2020

The United States is helping Sri Lankan apparel producers to export Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the United States.  In partnership with the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), the program included two webinars for over 100 industry participants that prepared them to break into the U.S. market.  The project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development and is implemented by Deloitte Consulting.    

July 9, 2020

USAID supported the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to conduct a new business survey on the key strategic insights on trade and labor market impacts of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. The survey was conducted among senior-level executives of large firms and SMEs (including firms owned or led by women) in 26 export segments from 04 -18 May 2020.