AFD boosts development in the East with loan of Euro 79 million

Thursday, 4 November 2010 06:54 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The French Development Agency (AFD) in Sri Lanka yesterday  announced its collaboration with the Sri Lankan Government in the rehabilitation of coastal roads damaged by the tsunami in Trincomalee by providing  the funding for the project, in the form of a soft loan amounting to €79 million to the government.

Work on the project has already begun in the Eastern Province with the commencement of the reconstruction of the A15 road, the B10 road and the C-class coastal road.

The project also includes the construction of five new bridges on the A15 road, which once completed will allow the quick crossing of rivers rather than having to use lengthy detours or resort to the use of ferries as is being done now.

The main component of this project, that is the construction of roads in the districts of Batticaloa and Trincomalee, is slated to be completed next year and will bring about a great improvement in the lives of the people in those areas.

The AFD, through this project, aims to contribute to the development of this area which in the past, has been affected by conflict and natural catastrophes.

This road project alone will cost Rs.11,498 million, of which Rs.8,898 million will be funded by the AFD in the form of a soft loan and the rest of the project will be financed by the Sri Lankan Government.

With a presence for over 60 years, the AFD is the central agency for French bilateral aid and cooperation and has rendered its services in over 60 countries globally, nine of which are in Asia.

AFD started its operations in Sri Lanka in the year 2005 with a mandate for reconstruction in the aftermath of the tsunami and has so far financed infrastructure projects in the East with soft loans amounting to a total of €89 million.

The agency strives to fight poverty and support economic growth on behalf of the French Government through soft loans granted to governments and public utilities, as well as supporting the development of the private sector through its subsidiary PROPARCO, which too has had a significant presence in Sri Lanka.

Under the AFD’s renewed aim of contributing to the preservation of global public goods and promoting green and inclusive growth in emerging countries in Asia and South America, it has taken on a new mandate in Sri Lanka and intends to finance further projects in Sri Lanka.  The AFD in fact is currently considering co-financing the Jaffna and Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Govt.  to invest $1 b in  post-war road network

By Shihar Aneez

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka will invest more than $1 billion by the end of 2011 to modernise its road network as part of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s post-war economic revival plan, a top government official said on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka rebuilt 2,200 km (1,370 miles) of major roads between 2005 to 2009, but the new projects aim to build around 4,000 km of major roads by 2011, said Wasantha Karannagoda, the secretary to the Ministry of Highways.

“Over $1 billion worth projects are under way within two years up to the end of 2011 and Sri Lanka’s road network will undergo a tremendous facelift,” he told reporters in Colombo. “Top priority has been given to the road projects.”

Sri Lanka’s highways, aside from routine maintenance, have hardly been updated since the colonial era, and the narrow roads make a journey across the relatively small island best judged by the time it will take, rather than the distance to be covered.

The Japanese Bank for International Corporation, the Asia Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and China are helping to pay for the roads, said Karannagoda, secretary Highways Ministry.

On Wednesday, the French Development Agency said it was funding a road project in the war-hit Eastern province with a 58.2 million euro ($81.6 million), 20-year soft loan.