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The Government Spent Only 10.6% of The Itukama COVID-19 Fund Balance

On the 23rd of March 2020, President Gotabaya Rajapaksha initiated the “Itukama” COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund. The fund’s purpose was to “strengthen the mitigation activities aimed at controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country and related social welfare programmes”. The fund was financed through donations received from organizations and individuals.  

In order to assess how the fund has been utilized, Verité Research filed a Right to Information (RTI) request with the Presidential Secretariat on the 21st of October 2021. In response to this RTI request filed, data was received on 19th November 2021, where the Presidential Secretariat outlined that the total fund balance as of 30th September 2021, was over LKR 1,800 million.

However, only 10.6% (LKR 197.5 million) of this amount has been spent. The breakdown of the spending is depicted in the following infographic.

This Fund was created for a purpose. It is unfair for keeping a large percentage of fund unspent as many urgent needs relating to COVID to be met. Donors of the fund and the beneficiaries both were mistreated.
03 Feb 2022
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