World Bank team concludes visit to Sri Lanka

World-Bank-Building

May 27, 2016 (LBO) – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors completed a five-day visit including site inspections on work being implemented under the Bank supported projects in the island.

During the five-day visit, the team met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake to understand the current country context and challenges, a World Bank statement said.

“They also discussed the Government’s reform program and priorities for World Bank engagement in Sri Lanka.”

Meanwhile, a recent statement issued by the President’s office said following the teams visit that the World Bank has responded positively to a request made by the President Maithripala Sirisena to provide financial assistance for the next four years.

“The World Bank delegation requested the Sri Lankan Government to cooperate with the ongoing development programs to further strengthen the relationship between Sri Lanka and the global lender,”

“The discussion focused on the developments took place in different districts under the World Bank financial assistance program.”

This the first visit by a group of officials from the World Bank to the Island in 34 years, according to the President’s Media Division.

The President informed the representatives of the World Bank on the current state of the country’s imports and exports, foreign assets and foreign policy. He made an official request to consider Sri Lanka as a country with middle income and reconsider the conditions put forward by the World Bank before.

The nine-member delegation also visited the districts of Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy.

They observed a chronic kidney disease services and tertiary level health care services available to patients in the North Central Province and progress of the Second Health Sector Development Project (HSDP).

They saw livelihood restoration in a resettled area and services under the North East Local Service Improvement Project (NELSIP).

They further observed the impact of partner organizations of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group who is helping boost financial inclusion and supply chain development in the country.

In Jaffna IFC client Cargills (Ceylon) PLC’s operations were observed in a meeting with farmers and local community leaders.

In the Central Province, the delegation met with IFC client SANASA Development Bank and their stakeholders in Kandy to understand how the bank is boosting financial inclusion across the country.

Early childhood development efforts under the recent Early Childhood Development Project and disaster risk mitigation efforts implementation under Climate Resilience Improvement Project (CRIP) were other projects visited.