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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sri Lanka receives record US$ 2.2 b grants from donors

Daily News: 17/05/2005" From Ranil Wijayapala in Kandy

The Government recorded an unprecedented response from the donor community yesterday for its post tsunami reconstruction plan, on the first date of the Sri Lanka Development Forum held in Kandy with donors making commitments worth US$ 2.2 billion yesterday itself, Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama announced last evening here in Kandy.

Addressing the media at the conclusion of the first day sessions of the Development Forum, which focused on post tsunami reconstruction plans, Dr. Amunugama said the commitments by the donors topped the entire tsunami reconstruction requirements presented by the Government at yesterday's sessions.

"More than ninety per cent of the commitments pledged were in the form of grants", Dr. Amunugama added.

A confident Finance Minister said donors were impressed with the presentations made on the post tsunami reconstruction plans of the government.

The estimated post tsunami reconstruction requirement was put at US$ 2 billion. Minister Amunugama said the donors were impressed by the 'excellent' speech made by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the inauguration of the Development Forum. "The President's speech has had a tremendous impact on the donor community today", the Minister added.

Deputy Finance Minister Tilak Siyambalapitiya said the bilateral agencies made a commitment worth US$ 745 million at the Forum while multilateral agencies and Non government Organisations making commitments worth US$ 631 million and US$ 853 million respectively.

"Ninety per cent of the commitments were in the form of grants", the Deputy Minister said.

Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said the special feature of the Development Forum was that it had not made any impact on the country's debts or to the country's budgetary provision since these commitments were made in the form of grants.

"This is the first time Sri Lanka receiving aids in the form of grants", he pointed out. He also said the Government has also received US$ 300 million debt relief from donors.

"Italy and China has written off the debts", Dr. Jayasundera added.

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