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$ 125 m World Bank support for climate resilient agriculture, infrastructure services


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World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer and Ministry of Finance Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga shake hands after signing the agreement . State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne and World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough are also present

 


Sri Lanka and the World Bank last week signed two new agreements worth $150 million to improve climate resilience and agriculture productivity for small farmers and support priority infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer and Ministry of Finance Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga signed the agreements on behalf of the World Bank and the Government of Sri Lanka respectively. The signing took place during the World Bank Group and IMF Spring Meetings 2019 in Washington, D.C., in the presence of State Minister of FinanceEran Wickramaratne.

The new projects include a $125 million credit for the Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project, which will improve the resilience and productivity of agriculture for more than 470,000 small farmers in six provinces in the dry zone of the country and a $25 million loan for the Framework Development and Infrastructure Financing to Support Public-Private Partnerships Project, which will help the Government of Sri Lanka develop a platform to attract and sustain investments required to fulfil its future development priorities. 

“Sri Lanka is on a path to becoming an upper middle-income country,” said Schafer. “To ensure that this growth is sustainable, affordable, and resilient, the two projects are designed to leverage private sector financing for infrastructure and address climate vulnerability in the agriculture sector.”  

The Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources along with the six Provincial Councils participating in the project. The total project cost is $140 million, including a $125 million credit from the International Development Association, with a $10 million contribution from the Government of Sri Lanka and a $5 million contribution from the project beneficiaries.

“The project will support farmers’ access to training and research. Currently, only 10% of women benefit, and this project will help bridge this gap and improve productivity of both men and women working in agriculture,” said World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough. “Innovation, including the introduction of improved crop varieties, cropping patterns, water resources management, amongst others, can help farmers adapt to changing climate and improve their incomes and livelihoods.”

The key principle of the Framework Development and Infrastructure Financing to Support Public-Private Partnerships Project is to encourage the private sector to invest in priority projects selected through competitive procurement processes to ensure value for money. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media together with the National Agency for Public Private Partnership. The $25 million loan has a 20-year maturity, including a nine-year grace period, and $2 million counterpart funding.


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