Australia will provide $50 million in Official Development Assistance to support Sri Lanka meet urgent food and healthcare needs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said.

Noting that the two nations have a close and long-standing relationship with one another, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in a statement said that Australia would contribute an immediate $22 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for emergency food assistance to help three million people in Sri Lanka meet their daily nutritional needs.

Australia will also provide $23 million in development assistance to Sri Lanka in 2022-23.

"This will support health services, and economic recovery, with a strong emphasis on protecting those at risk, especially women and girls," she said, adding that these contributions are in addition to $5 million recently provided to United Nations agencies for Sri Lanka.

This assistance comes in the wake of SJB parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva, a former deputy foreign minister in the Yahapalanaya administration who said last week that no country has stepped forward to assist Sri Lanka.