Mind the gap

The International Monetary Fund says Sri Lanka still has to plug a US $ 420 mn gap in external financing to maintain reserves around US $ 2 bn in 2005, while rising oil prices may expand the need further. The International Monetary Fund says Sri Lanka still has to plug a US $ 420 mn gap in external financing to maintain reserves around US $ 2 bn in 2005, while rising oil prices may expand the need further. The IMF estimates that Sri Lanka would need a total of US $ 720 mn to cover reconstruction and lost tourism revenue as a result of the tsunami.


Already US $ 308 million in direct financing has been identified from donors and lending agencies.




The Fund says its US $ 157 mn emergency assistance approved earlier this week, and the extension of the period of an earlier standby arrangement would help plug part of the gap.


Fund flows from NGOs would also help.

“The exchange rate has remained stable at around Rs. 99.5 per U.S. dollar and gross official reserves were $1.8 billion as of February 23, about $30 million below the pre-tsunami and end-2004 levels,” a supplementary statement released with