Although Norway will close down its embassy in Colombo next year, the development assistance under NORAD and NorFund and other forms of aid will continue.
This assurance was given by Norwegian Ambassador Trine Jøranli Eskelad who called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday.
The Prime Minister thanked the envoy for Norwegian support to Sri Lanka for over 60 years, which began in the 1960s through NGO cooperation in the fisheries sector.
In 1976, Norway initiated government-to-government development cooperation in which an integrated rural development programme in the southern district of Hambantota became the flagship.
Eskelad said the NorFund would provide more assistance once further collaborative programmes have been worked out. Norway’s PSD support in Sri Lanka an estimate of the PSD portfolio in Sri Lanka indicates an average grant funding of about NOK 25 million per annum during the 2000s, or about 10-15% of the total Norwegian development assistance during the period.
The Prime Minister urged Norway to consider investments in fisheries, renewable energy and agriculture in addition to information technology and marine and ocean sciences. Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake was also present on this occasion.