USD 700 M from WB in coming months

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The World Bank (WB) Country Manager in Colombo Chiyo Kanda called on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris on 27 May and informed him that the WB will disburse approximately USD 700 million to Sri Lanka within the next few months.

She added that the WB is also working with the Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the UN Office and encourages them to ‘re-purposing’ their already committed projects to help the people of Sri Lanka at this difficult time. Minister Peiris sought assistance from the WB until long-term assistance materialises through the IMF, other international institutions and donor countries. The Minister highlighted the severity of the challenges in reducing the budget deficit in the forthcoming Budget. The Minister said, short-term financial assistance from the WB would be appreciated until sustainable solutions are found.

Meanwhile, the WB said, the recent media reports have inaccurately stated that the WB is planning support for Sri Lanka in the form of a bridge loan or new loan commitments, among other incorrect assertions. “We are concerned for the people of Sri Lanka and are working in coordination with the IMF and other development partners in advising on appropriate policies to restore economic stability and broad-based growth. Until an adequate macroeconomic policy framework is in place, the WB does not plan to offer new financing to Sri Lanka.

 “We are currently repurposing resources from previously approved projects to help the government with some essential medicines, temporary cash transfers for poor and vulnerable households, school meals for children of vulnerable families, and support for farmers and small businesses.

(SRM)