$800m World Bank funding for Sri Lanka Development

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 April 2003, 12:19 GMT]
Under Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) is set to provide US$800 million of new assistance, in the form of grants and interest-free loans over the next four years. This amount is significantly higher than IDA lending to Sri Lanka over the last five years—which averaged about US$60 million per year, World bank sources said.

"Sri Lanka now has the opportunity to embark on a path of sustained peace, more rapid economic growth, and poverty reduction that will benefit the entire population,” said World Bank Country Director Peter Harrold. “This new strategy is a significant expression of the World Bank’s confidence in the country’s progress in these areas so far, and we are very pleased to be able to offer this support at such a crucial time.”

"The Sri Lanka CAS is special in that it explicitly focuses on achieving results," said Debbie Bateman, the World Bank Country Coordinator for Sri Lanka. "In consultation with the government, the Bank's country team has defined shorter-term goals to be achieved during the CAS period that are connected to the longer-term national and sector goals elaborated in the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy."

The last World Bank CAS for Sri Lanka was presented in June 1996. For a number of years, the momentum for structural reforms slowed in Sri Lanka, while the security situation worsened as a result of the civil conflict, posing high development costs for the country.

Situation has changed since last year from the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and cessation of hostilities between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), increasing the prospects for peace and development.

 

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