COLOMBO: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has doubled its multi-sectoral assistance to Sri Lanka as a result of the merger of its two main windows of financing, the Finance Ministry said. Plans are afoot to mobilize around 800 to 1000 million US dollars annually from this year, the ministry said in a statement. Sri Widowati, Country Director of Sri Lanka Residence Mission of the ADB, has called on the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and briefed him on the assistance given by ADB for the development activities in Sri Lanka, a founding member of ADB.
“The ADB country director also congratulated the Minister on his appointment as the Minister of Finance and briefed him on the assistance given by the ADB towards Sri Lankan development projects,” the statement said. “Ms Widowati reiterated the ADB’s commitment to partner with the Government in developing Sri Lanka.” Minister Samaraweera has extended his appreciation to the Asian Development Bank for extending multi-sectoral assistance in various fields that brings direct dividends to the general public and further discussed the new country partnership strategy for Sri Lanka for the period from year 2018-2022.
Currently, the Asian Development Bank provides around 400 to 500 million dollars in annual assistance for Road Development projects, enhancement of sanitation facilities, fisheries sector development, irrigation sector development as well as skills and educational sector development projects. All loan facilities by the ADB come with a five-year grace period. There are 24 ongoing projects implemented throughout the country with ADB funding. With the proposal to double the ADB’s assistance to Sri Lanka, the Government has earmarked railways, ports and road development as potential sectors to be developed and have already commenced feasibility studies in those respective sectors.