'Restoring the capacity to generate income is the first crucial step towards renewed self-reliance.'
Feb 26, Colombo: The Asia Development Bank (ADB) yesterday approved the reallocation of seven million US dollars from a Rural Finance Sector Development Project in Sri Lanka to establish a sustainable system for enhancing access to rural and microfinance services.
The ADB said that three loans totaling 70 million dollars were approved by ADB in December 2003 for the Rural Finance Sector Development Program (RFSDP). Also under the project, a 10 million-dollar line of credit would be disbursed through microfinance institutions to support microenterprise subloans of up to about 1,000 dollars each.
�The reallocation will allow an immediate and substantial response to restore livelihood in [tsunami] affected areas through microfinance institutions,' said Ashok Sharma, principal rural finance and microfinance specialist.
�Emergency credit will help [people] quickly overcome the massive disruption and shock they have experienced to their livelihoods and income sources,� he said.
�This response will combine cash grant with public works programs supported by other external partners and the government,� said Alessandro Pio, ADB's country director in Sri Lanka.
�Restoring the capacity to generate income is the first crucial step towards renewed self-reliance. It is important that these programs have uniform terms and conditions in line with the government�s schemes to avoid confusion and disparities,� he added. "