Fresh Aid

Japan is finalising a US$ 100 mn tsunami soft loan for Sri Lanka’s reconstruction work, expected to come through by mid next month. Japan is finalising a US$ 100 mn tsunami soft loan for Sri Lanka’s reconstruction work, expected to come through by mid next month.

The soft loan will be over and above US$ 80 mn in emergency grant aid that Japan pledged shortly after the tsunami swept away coastal villages.

“For reconstruction work, Japan is discussing with the Sri Lankan government for Japanese soft loans in addition to the US$ 80 mn in grant aid already provided,” Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Akio Suda said.

About US$70 mn of that loan will go toward infrastructure re-building, such as roads and hospitals, with the balance US$ 30 mn supplementing the Central Bank’s SME loan scheme.

“It is still being finalised but we expect it before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in April,” Chief Representative of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation in Sri Lanka, Shinya Ejima said.

Meanwhile, a Japanese mission is in town, working with the government on how best to use the US$ 80 mn grant aid for tsunami aff