World Bank announces new Country Director and Manager for Sri Lanka

Thursday, 2 July 2020 03:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos
Country Manager for Sri Lanka Chiyo Kanda

Chiyo Kanda has been appointed as the new World Bank’s new Country Manager for Sri Lanka. 

She will oversee a total portfolio of around $2.3 billion and the development of a new country partnership framework.

Kanda will be based in Colombo. Faris Hadad-Zervos is taking up the position of Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, 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 kickstart 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.”

A Japanese national, Chiyo 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 and Portfolio Manager in the Philippines. Her most recent assignment was as Manager in the Operations Policy and 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 $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 $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 $2.3 billion in a variety of sectors including transport, urban, water, education and health.

Separately the World Bank also announced the appointment of Faris Hadad-Zervos as the World Bank’s new Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, effective yesterday.

Based in the sub-regional office in Kathmandu, Nepal, he will lead World Bank support to Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, overseeing the current total portfolio of around $5.5 billion.

Hadad-Zervos succeeds Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, who will be taking on a new World Bank assignment. He previously served as the World Bank Country Manager for Nepal. 

A US national, he joined the World Bank in 1996 and held country manager positions in Malaysia and Bolivia. He also served as Manager of the Technical Cooperation Program with the Gulf Cooperation Countries, Head of Mission for Iraq, and Operations Manager for the West Bank and Gaza.

Hadad-Zervos’ appointment comes at a time when governments of the three countries must quickly address both the immediate and longer-term health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

“It is critical to protect lives and livelihoods and support economic recovery as countries are fighting the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Hadad-Zervos. “My first priority is to ensure that World Bank-financed programs help alleviate the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, create jobs, and foster inclusive and sustainable growth in the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and I look forward to working with governments, development partners, the private sector, and civil society.”