Sri Lanka asks donors to cut redtape and coordinate aid for bigger projects

Sri Lanka’s foreign donors are falling over themselves to channel aid to similar projects, but a lots needs to be done to co-ordinate and channel assistance to large projects, the island’s treasury secretary said Friday. Sri Lanka’s foreign donors are falling over themselves to channel aid to similar projects, but a lots needs to be done to co-ordinate and channel assistance to large projects, the island’s treasury secretary said Friday. The Indian Ocean island gets over a billion dollars in aid each year from multilateral, bilateral and international non-governmental organizations.

The tsunami-hit island also raised over US$ 3 billion in pledges from international donors to rebuild key infrastructure along its damaged coastline.

But quite a number of aid projects are centered on similar themes – health, education etc – few go into creating big-ticket projects like roads and railroads.

“Sri Lanka is fortunate to have an abundance of international donors. Their intensions are good. But they do a lot of small projects in the range of US$ 100 million to US$ 150 million, very often on similar themes like health and nutrition,” treasury secretary P B Jayasundara said during the launch of a World Bank sponsored re