About US$ 3 bn, 96 projects and 50-years later, Sri Lanka is still begging for World Bank help

About US$ 3 bn, 96 projects and 50-years later, Sri Lanka is still begging for financial assistance from the World Bank. About US$ 3 bn, 96 projects and 50-years later, Sri Lanka is still begging for financial assistance from the World Bank. Sri Lanka’s total project allocation for 2004 tops US$ 400 mn, but World Bank’s Vice President South Asia Region, Praful Patel says the county has missed opportunities during the half century partnership.

World Bank’s love affair with Sri Lanka took off in 1954, with assistance for the Aberdeen-Laxapana Power Project.

Half a century later, only 64 percent of Sri Lankan households have electricity. But nearly 80 percent of the power is distributed among the cosmopolitan Western Province. Others like Uva enjoy less than 30 percent coverage.

The irony is that Sri Lanka is still embroiled in an energy crunch and a lot of the Bank’s assistance is channeled towards lighting up the rural masses by using renewable energy methods.

The country’s per capita income stood at US$ 947 last year, but a quarter of the 19 mn still lives below the poverty line.

For the World Ban