Sri Lanka seeks food crisis loan: World Bank

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The World Bank is considering giving Sri Lanka a crisis loan to tackle galloping food prices, the global financial institution’s vice president said on Friday. “The fund is targeting some 800 million dollars for countries such as Sri Lanka that have been hit by the food crisis,” Patel said.

The solution for Sri Lanka, he said, was not to import more food, but to improve agriculture productivity.

AFP The island, which is battling 30 percent inflation and over three decades of separatist war with Tamil Tiger rebels, has sought funds from the World Bank’s emergency Food Crises Response Trust Fund.

“The Bank is currently discussing with the government what kind of assistance would be useful and whether the Bank can provide such assistance,” vice president Praful Patel told AFP.

“Sri Lanka has made a request” for a loan from the emergency fund, Patel said in an email to AFP.

“It is difficult to say how much, but we are not talking about 10 million or 15 million dollars. It will be around 100 million — in that range,” he said.

His statement came after an announcement last week by the government that the World Bank was g