Global lenders eye coordinated assistance for Sri Lanka – Government

Lotus tower in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Global lenders including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the IMF are planning coordinated assistance to help Sri Lanka recover from its economic crisis, the government said on Tuesday.

The island of 22 million people is in the midst of its worst financial crisis in more than seven decades, caused by an acute dollar shortage that has left it struggling to pay for imports of food, fuel and medicine.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the finance minister, presented the country’s economic recovery plan to representatives of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Colombo on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.

The “representatives decided that a coordinated assistance programme supported by the multilateral financial institutions is required for Sri Lanka to recover from the economic crisis the country is currently facing,” the statement added.

It was not immediately clear what funding support would be extended by the organisations. The president’s office declined further comment.

The World Bank said earlier in the day that it had approved Sri Lanka’s request to access concessional financing, which would also alleviate the country’s pressure on servicing debt.

Sri Lanka reached a preliminary agreement with the IMF for a $2.9 billion bailout in September but has to put its debt on a sustainable path before the funds can be disbursed.