Foreign aid absorption to increase by 18 percent in 2005

Sri Lanka hopes to increase foreign aid absorption by about 18 percent this year, compared to utilisation in 2004, to accommodate tsunami aid inflows. Sri Lanka hopes to increase foreign aid absorption by about 18 percent this year, compared to utilisation in 2004, to accommodate tsunami aid inflows. “The public investment programme for this year is around US$ 900 mn depending on implementation progress,” the Treasury Secretary, P B Jayasundara told journalists at the Sri Lanka Development Forum on Tuesday.

In 2004, Sri Lanka’s targeted foreign aid disbursement was US$ 750 mn, but actual spending went beyond that to US$ 805 mn.

This year, the government is looking at increasing disbursements by 18 percent, to US$ 956 mn, compared to the 2004 utilisation figure of US$ 805 mn.

The controlled increase is mainly to absorb aid flows for tsunami reconstruction activity, scheduled to take off with previously planned development programmes.

Housing reconstruction for tsunami victims for instance, is scheduled to begin over the next six to nine months.

“MOUs were signed for 3,500 houses. The donors are now doing their procurement. Ove