World Bank announces new Country Manager for Sri Lanka
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Chiyo Kanda, from Japan, has been appointed the World Bank’s new Country Manager for Sri Lanka, the World Bank (WB) said on Wednesday (1). She will oversee a total portfolio of around US$ 2.3 billion and the development of a new country partnership framework.
Kanda will be based in Colombo, while, Faris Hadad-Zervos, who is taking up the position of Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, will be based in Nepal.
Kanda’s appointment comes at a time when the Government of Sri Lanka is working to address both the immediate and longer-term health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Sri Lanka has managed to limit the spread of COVID-19 quite effectively so far. It is now critical to kick-start economic recovery and protect people’s jobs and livelihoods,” said Kanda. “My priority is to build on the strong partnership with the Sri Lankan Government and its people as we work together to prepare the next country partnership framework to support Sri Lanka’s development.”
Kanda joined the World Bank in 1994 as a young professional and has since held various positions as Economist and Senior Economist for Africa, Senior Operations Officer in Tanzania and Operations & Portfolio Manager in the Philippines. Her most recent assignment was as Manager in the Operations Policy & Country Services Vice Presidency’s results unit.
“I look forward to working closely with all development partners, including the private sector and civil society groups, to promote sustainable growth and shared prosperity,” added Kanda.
The World Bank is supporting the Government’s COVID-19 response through a US$ 215 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic and to strengthen its public health system.
Additional financing of US$ 87.24 million has also been provided through the same project to boost the country’s preparedness as it resumes economic activities. There are 20 projects in the World Bank portfolio in Sri Lanka amounting to US$ 2.3 billion in a variety of sectors including transport, urban, water, education and health.