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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. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

WB calls for better relief handling

Sunday Times: 15/05/2005"

The World Bank has suggested that the government should have a clear national policy, systematic co-ordination from the districts, adequate recurrent budget allocation to district implementation programmes and decentralising implementation as possible in the post-tsunami rehabilitation programmes.

The World Bank in a document released ahead of the two-day Development Forum starting in Kandy tomorrow said co-ordination between the national and district levels, including better allocation of responsibilities between various levels of Government, needed to be improved to handle the post-tsunami rehabilitation work.

"The Central Government with the the assistance of TAFREN should focus on setting clear national policies, standards and guidelines for adoption by implementing entities including NGOs," the World Bank said. More than 120 representatives of donor countries and agencies are expected to gather for the two-day event which will be mainly focused on the post-tsunami rehabilitation work.

A major part of the presentations will be focused on the issue of tsunami and the progress achieved so far in rehabilitation and reconstruction. The Government's needs assessment for the post-tsunami period has been placed at US dollars two billion over the next three to four years, according to Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundara.

The World Bank has also suggested that shortage of managerial and technical skills at the district level could be addressed more systematically. According to the World Bank report on tsunami financing needs, the highest percentage of 41.1 percent is from the east while north amounts to 17.2 per cent.

However World Bank country Director Peter Harrold said that of the northern and eastern provinces only 10 percent of the affected areas is in the LTTE controlled region. The Southern province requires 29 percent of the assistance while the western province requires 12.6 percent.

According to the World Bank report, the tsunami effect is likely to push prices up further this year due to supply shortages of certain food items. UN agencies, the Asian Development Bank, and donor countries are due to make statements at the Development Forum.


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