Cabinet green-lights $ 87 m from IDA to fund COVID-19 welfare programs

Friday, 26 June 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Cabinet has decided to increase the quota of funds provided by the International Development Agency (IDA) from $ 22.4 million to $ 87.24 million and funnel it into social security measures for those severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The International Development Agency (IDA), which is part of the World Bank, had agreed to provide $ 22.4 million under transition assistance loans. 

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economy and Policy Development to increase the total amount of funds to be obtained up to $ 87.24 million and to use these funds for social security measures targeting the sections of society severely impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government Information Department said in a statement. 

Earlier this year, the International Development Association of the World Bank Group agreed to use $ 60 million of the funds available to Sri Lanka for three projects funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to fund programs targeted at COVID-19 affected social segments. These were the Transport Connectivity and Asset Management Project, Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project and the Agro-irrigation Development Project adapting to climate change.

Further, the IDA had agreed to provide $ 5 million under the Transit Loan Facility and $ 1.2 million grant under the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility. Accordingly, the proposal made by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economy and Policy Development to obtain the said funds was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 3 June.