World Bank to redesign 17 ongoing projects in Sri Lanka

World Bank’s Country Director for Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The World Bank would extend further support after reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank’s Country Director for Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos says.

There are 17 ongoing World Bank-funded projects in Sri Lanka, he said, adding that the projects will be redesigned to provide financial assistance to face the current crisis.

This was mentioned at a discussion between World Bank representatives and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Colombo, yesterday (June 29).

Explaining the current situation in the country, the President pointed out the need to provide World Bank loan assistance to banks and financial institutions.

President Rajapaksa requested the representatives to take necessary measures to issue such financial assistance at low interest rates to the people engaged in agriculture, livestock, small and medium scale enterprises and businesses.

The World Bank representatives said they have already decided to allocate funds for domestic gas and fertiliser supplies.

Tax increases, the removal of diesel and kerosene subsidies will have a severe impact on many sectors including fisheries.

The government is also concerned about other groups at risk, the President said, adding that these issues would have to be considered in reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

World Bank Country Manager for Sri Lanka Chiyo Kanda, Senior Operations Officer Asela Dissanayake, Practice Manager Gabi George Afram, Lead Private Sector Specialist Peter Mousley, Lead Financial Sector Specialist Miquel Dijkman, Senior Economist Kishan Abeygunawardana and Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Principal Advisor to President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Chief of Staff to the President Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to the Finance Ministry K.M.M. Siriwardena, Director of the External Resources Department Himali Bogodagedara and Vice President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association Dr. Surantha Perera, also attended this discussion.