Sri Lanka’s conflict-hit and the poor under World Bank focus

Sept 04, 2008 (LBO) – The World Bank will help Sri Lanka build infrastructure and boost economic services to communities marginalized by an internal conflict and the poor, a top official has said at the conclusion of a visit to the island. “Sri Lanka clearly has so much potential which is being held back by conflict,” Isabel Guerrero, World Bank’s new Vice President for South Asia said in a statement.

“I was really impressed to see that our new strategy to assist the nation’s development has broad-based support built on consultations we carried out across the island.

“It is so important for all Sri Lankans to have a stake in the island’s growth.”

The World Bank has a country assistance strategy which proposes to lend 900 million US dollars to Sri Lanka over the next four years, covering the entire country.

It will fund road and irrigation projects that will see greater economic opportunities created in rural areas.

Guerrero, who until June was the World Bank’s director in charge of the World Bank’s India program, has met President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his advisors, ministers, central bank governor Nivard Cabraal and finance ministry officials.

Guerrero says the strategy supports the expansion of t