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World Bank gets ready to provide emergency support to Sri Lanka

The World Bank says it is ready to provide emergency support to Sri Lanka and protect the vulnerable people amidst the unprecedented economic crisis in the country.

World Bank Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer said he held talks with Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry and Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe in Washington on Tuesday (19).

He said they discussed actions to address the economic crisis, support stabilization and recovery, and protect the vulnerable people in Sri Lanka.

He also said the World Bank is deeply concerned about the impacts of the crisis on the poor and vulnerable and stand ready to provide emergency support for essential medicines and health-related supplies, nutrition, and education.

“Had a good meeting today with Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ali Sabry and CBSL Governor Weerasinghe, discussed actions to address the economic crisis, support stabilization and recovery, and protect the vulnerable people.”

“We at the World Bank are deeply concerned about the impacts of the crisis on the poor and vulnerable and stand ready to provide emergency support for essential medicines and health-related supplies, nutrition, and education,” he tweeted. 

Finance Minister Sabry and a delegation including the CBSL governor and the Finance Secretary are in the US for the annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
 
The Finance Minister also had talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington on Monday.

Meanwhile World Bank has expressed  deep concerned about the uncertain economic outlook in Sri Lanka and the impact on people as the country is facing  unsustainable debt and Balance of Payment challenges. World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos.said.  

“It is  working on providing emergency support for poor and vulnerable households to help them weather the economic crisis and it remains committed to the wellbeing of the people of Sri Lanka, and to a narrative of sustainable and inclusive growth that will require concerted and collective action, he added. 

 Accor ding to World Bank, Sri Lanka needs to address the structural sources of its vulnerabilities. This would require reducing fiscal deficits especially through strengthening domestic revenue mobilisation. Sri Lanka also needs to find feasible options to restore debt sustainability. The financial sector needs to be carefully monitored amid high exposure to the public sector and the impact of the recent currency depreciation on banks’ balance sheets. 

The necessary adjustments may adversely affect growth and impact poverty initially but will correct the significant imbalances, subsequently providing the foundation for stronger and sustainable growth and access to international financial markets. Mitigating the impacts on the poor and vulnerable would remain critical, he pointed out.  

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