Sri Lanka to hold aid parley in Dec; asks donors to fund mega projects

July 28, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is asking donors to concentrate on helping to build mega infrastructure projects, when the annual aid parley meets in December, treasury secretary P B Jayasundara said. The government wants lenders to channel more money to build roads instead of issuing warning signals about a faltering peace process and its effects on the economy, the country’s top bureaucrat said.

The island’s 24 billion dollar economy, he says, is on track for an 8-percent expansion in 2006, after having grown in “excess of 7-percent in the second quarter of this year.”

“To sustain this momentum and expand it to all corners of the country, we have told donors now not to put money to funding peace, millennium development goals, micro finance and so on. We want them to fund mega infrastructure projects now,” he told businessmen late Thursday.

He said the country has an outstanding donor portfolio of around 4.4 billion dollars, of which nearly 1.8 billion dollars is due from the Asian Development Bank.

“When donors meet at our aid meeting in December, we will present our medium term plan for the country. But we are requesting them to give us at least 1.3 billion dollars annually for