Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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ADB readies to provide emergency funding to Srilanka

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) is set to assist Sri Lanka by providing emergency financial support to ensure access to food and protect livelihoods for the poor and vulnerable.

From May 2022 to date, food security and livelihoods have continued to deteriorate, and the emergency is expected to worsen through 2022 and into 2023, a senior treasury official said.

These details and further foreign aid were revealed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe following the conclusion of the meeting at the Finance Ministry in Colombo recently.

ADB Vice President acknowledged and the steps being taken to contain the crisis and address its underlying causes, and supported the efforts to seek international assistance.

The ADB will be supporting the poor and vulnerable of Sri Lanka with direct financial support while boosting livelihood development activities and agricultural production and enhancing social protection systems. Finance ministry official is said.

In addition, through the Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program, ADB has provided guarantees to help critical international trade to continue.

“ADB is deeply concerned about the effects of the ongoing economic crisis on the poor and vulnerable sections, including women, of Sri Lankan society, particularly its long-term impact to people’s lives,” said Chen. Chen highlighted the need and called for deep, meaningful, and sustained structural reforms to address long-standing macroeconomic vulnerabilities, promote private sector development and to support renewable energy development.

Chen underscored the importance of strengthening macroeconomic management, improving governance, addressing structural constraints, and enhancing social protection system for sustained and inclusive recovery.

During his visit, Chen also met with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana and Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe.

At the invitation of Wickremesinghe, ADB Vice President participated at the high-level round table discussion on structural reform for economic recovery and sustainable growth along with representatives from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The Government’s reform agenda was discussed along with proposed policy directions, reform priorities, other interventions, and future collaboration and support from international partners.

Chen will also witness the unloading of a 42,000 metric ton Muirate of Potash (MOP) fertilizer shipment at the Colombo Port, which is part of ADB’s emergency assistance to Sri Lanka. The fertilizer stock will be distributed to paddy farmers throughout the country to support agriculture production and address food insecurity.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members, 49 from the region.

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