Tsunami aid gives Sri Lanka’s balance of payments a boost

The flood of aid, private remittances and debt relief since Dec. 26 tsunami disaster, has hoisted Sri Lanka’s balance of payments into the black for the first six months of this year, the Central Bank said Monday. The flood of aid, private remittances and debt relief since Dec. 26 tsunami disaster, has hoisted Sri Lanka’s balance of payments into the black for the first six months of this year, the Central Bank said Monday. The net result, helped prop up the island’s official international reserves to US$ 2,372 million in June from US$ 2,196 million in December 2004, giving a greater stability to the domestic foreign exchange market.

Sri Lanka’s overall balance of payments showed a US$ 174 million surplus for the six months to June 2005, swelled by a 26 percent growth in tsunami aid inflows during the first five months, the bank said in a release.

The bank did not give comparable 2004 data for the first-six months’ balance of payments.

Sri Lanka is banking on US$ 3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild infrastructure facilities wiped off during last Dec.’s tsunami which killed around 31,000 people and left a million homeless.

The bank said earlier this year that the aid flows should help the isla