The World Bank reaffirmed its continued support to Sri Lanka’s growth and development for the benefit of all its people, as World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Hartwig Schafer concluded a four-day visit.
During his visit, Schafer gained a better understanding of the country’s development priorities under the new government and how the World Bank’s financial and knowledge resources can be deployed for maximum impact.
“Sri Lanka is today an upper-middle-income country with some of the best human development indicators in South Asia. These are tremendous achievements that the World Bank is proud to have helped achieve as a trusted partner of over 60 years,” saidSchafer. “We look forward to working closely with the government in the preparation of our new country strategy and our collaboration as development partners.”
During his visit, Schafer discussed some of the government’s key priorities, such as investments in human and physical capital, public sector reforms, creating skilled jobs for youth, and responding to the health needs of a rapidly aging population. He also commended the government’s focus on tourism as an engine of sustained growth. Promoting innovation in agriculture to adapt to climate change while developing systems of value addition to promote growth were also discussed.
Schafer traveled to Kegalle district to visit a World Bank-financed rural water treatment plant, which is the only such project in Sri Lanka that provides treated piped water to rural communities. He engaged with beneficiary communities who have committed to covering part of the infrastructure cost in return for better and reliable water services. Schafer also visited the site for the potential Kandy Multimodal Transport Terminal (KMTT) to learn how the facility can improve safety and reduce congestion.
The active International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) portfolio comprise of 18 projects in Sri Lanka (with a total net commitment of around US$ 2 billion).