ADB lends US$ 570 mn focusing on infrastructure and rehabilitation

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

The ADB is planning to lend US$ 570 m to Sri Lanka over the next two years, according to a Country Strategy and Program (CSP) Update for 2005-2006 endorsed by ADB’s Board of Directors. The loan amount is based on annual commitments of US$ 90 mn from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund (ADF), which assists the Bank’s poorest members, and a total of US$ 390 mn over two years from its ordinary capital resources (OCR).

Final allocations, however, will depend on country performance and resource availability.

“Assuming continued economic growth and economic reforms, the program plans a gradual move toward increased OCR lending for power and major road projects, and retains ADF for education, remote provincial and rural roads, and urgent reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the north and east,” says Alessandro Pio, Country Director at ADB’s Resident Mission in Sri Lanka.

ADB’s CSP, endorsed by the Board in 2003, focuses on economic reform and governance, rehabilitation in conflict-afflicted areas, and direct poverty reduction and rural infrastructure.

The current CSP is closely linked to the Tokyo Conference for Sri Lanka, held in June last year, in which ADB