The World Bank’s Country Director for Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos, has said that the 17 ongoing World Bank funded projects in Sri Lanka are being redesigned to provide financial assistance to meet the current crisis.
Mr. Zervos has said the World Bank would extend further support after reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
The World Bank’s Country Director and a group of World Bank representatives met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Colombo, Wednesday (29) to discuss the current situation, the President’s Media Division said.
Explaining the current situation in the country, the President pointed out the need to provide the World Bank loan assistance to banks and financial institutions.
The President requested the representatives to take necessary measures to issue such financial assistance at low interest rates to the people engaged in agriculture, livestock, small and medium scale enterprises and businesses.
Representatives of the World Bank said that they have already decided to allocate funds for domestic gas and fertilizer supplies.
President Rajapaksa noted that tax increases, the removal of diesel and kerosene subsidies will have a severe impact on many sectors including fisheries. The government is also concerned about other groups at risk. The President said that these issues would have to be considered in reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
World Bank Country Manager for Sri Lanka Chiyo Kanda, Senior Operations Officer Asela Dissanayake, Practice Manager Gabi George Afram, Lead Private Sector Specialist Peter Mousley, Lead Financial Sector Specialist Miquel Dijkman, accompanied the World Bank’s Country Director at the meeting.
Senior Economist Kishan Abeygunawardana and Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Principal Advisor to President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Chief of Staff to the President Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to the Finance Ministry K.M.M. .Siriwardena, Director of the External Resources Department Himali Bogodagedara and Vice President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association Dr. Surantha Perera, were also present at this discussion.