World Bank Group

03/14/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/14/2019 17:22

World Bank Approves $70 Million to Improve Local Services in Rural Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2019-. The new local development project will put local communities at the center of planning and delivery of essential services such as roads, healthcare and sanitation through closer collaboration with local government authorities.

Sri Lanka has performed well in poverty reduction over the years with a national poverty rate of 4.1% in 2016. However, pockets of poverty prevail. A recent World Bank study of socio-economic conditions in the North and East found many factors challenging development in these areas including weak community institutions, gender vulnerabilities, especially among female headed households, trauma symptoms and risk behavior of youth and affected populations.

'' said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. 'We are happy to partner with the Government to deliver a project that will build systems to be responsive to the needs of the local population, and particularly the most vulnerable groups.'

- including roads and drains, markets, water supply, minor irrigation, IT connectivity, and rural electrification.

Yarissa Sommer and Sonya Sultan, Project Task Team Leaders, highlighted that 'Strong local government authorities which can be responsive to citizens are critical for the development of a country, and the well-being of its citizens. We hope that the Local Development Support Project can make a significant contribution in setting up strong systems for accountable, effective and responsive local government that serve the citizens of Sri Lanka well.'

The new Local Development Support Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government along with the four Provincial Councils participating in the project. The total project cost is $100 million, including a $70 million credit from the International Development Association, with a $23.65 million grant from the European Union and $7 million contribution from the Government of Sri Lanka.