China leads Sri Lanka foreign lenders in 2009: fiscal report

Mar 03, 2010 (LBO) – China became the top donor to commit aid to Sri Lanka in 2009 lining up more than half the total with 1.2 billion US dollars, though Japan was still slightly ahead in actual disbursements, a finance ministry report said.

A pre-election fiscal report issued this week ahead of parliamentary polls in April said foreign governments and lending agencies had committed 2,221.7 million US dollars to Sri Lanka in 2009, which topped the previous high of 2,069 million US dollars in 2008.

The Asian Development Bank was a distant second to China’s with 423.7 million US dollars and the World Bank third with 241.8 million US dollars.

Korea had committed 76.3 million US dollars, Hungary 70.2 million US dollars. Netherlands had committed 36.7 million US dollars and Sweden 19.6 million US dollars.

Japan, Sri Lanka’s traditional top donor had only committed 19 million US dollars in 2009.

Western nations and Japan had taken a back seat in lending to Sri Lanka after relations became strained over the last stages of a war with Tamil Tigers in early 2009, human rights violations and a breakdown in rule of law.

Committed funds are disbursed