MANILA, PHILIPPINES (5 March 2003) - The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Tadao Chino, will visit Sri Lanka from 6-8 March to reaffirm ADB's support for the peace process and the Bank's commitment to reducing poverty throughout the country.
During his three-day visit, Mr. Chino will visit a community water supply and sanitation project in Hambantota district, in southern Sri Lanka. He will also lay the foundation stone of a hospital in Kilinochi, in the northern part of the country, where ADB supports a post-conflict rehabilitation and development project.
ADB has stepped up its assistance to northeastern Sri Lanka as peace has gradually returned to the area, while continuing to support development projects in the rest of the country.
Mr. Chino will discuss ADB's country program with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and senior members of the Government.
This will be Mr. Chino's second visit to Sri Lanka as ADB President. ADB's program in Sri Lanka, which averages about US$200 million a year, aims to reduce poverty and promote economic growth throughout the country. Since the Government signed a ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in February 2002, ADB has followed a flexible and proactive approach in implementing its program in the northeast in response to an evolving situation on the ground.
Last year, ADB's assistance program to Sri Lanka amounted to about US$240 million, including US$4 million in technical assistance grants. This was the largest program in a single year since ADB began operations in Sri Lanka in 1968. Sri Lanka is a founding member of ADB; the Bank was established in 1966 and now has 61 members, of which 44 are from the region. ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through pro-poor sustainable economic growth, social development and good governance.
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