Sri Lanka in talks with ADB on emergency loan

Dec 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is seeking a 150 million dollar emergency assistance loan from the Asian Development Bank that could help start urgent projects, especially in the former war zone, officials said. These include power supply schemes and refurbishment of hospitals in Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi, two towns that were former Tamil Tiger strongholds where much infrastructure was destroyed in the fighting. Richard Vokes, ADB country director in Sri Lanka, said the bank was ready to consider the loan as it shifts its focus to reviving the northern and eastern areas of post-war Sri Lanka.

“The ADB management has indicated that if the need is there for additional support, we could try to provide some extra funds for emergency assistance to the north. It’s still under discussion.”

The ADB has already approved about 350 million US dollars of aid to Sri Lanka next year, much of it going for the north and east which was ravaged by war.

Government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists in May, ending a 30-year ethnic war.

Vokes said the emergency assistance loan would help to continue some activities such as medium and large infrastructure development as well as community level support th