Brussels, 27 February 2003 - The European Commission adopted its Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for 2003-2006 and its National Indicative Programme (NIP) for 2003-2005. Over the next three years an indicative sum of € 16.8 million has been earmarked for Sri Lanka to finance the EC co-operation strategy. The NIP outlines activities to be supported, on the basis of priorities set out in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2003-2006, namely Rural Development, support for post-conflict activities and trade development, promotion of business and institutional links and assistance to the redevelopment of the Sri Lankan domestic airline system
Rural development: €7.5 million are allocated to improve dairy farming and aquatic resources development. After 20 years of conflict much of Sri Lanka's infrastructure is badly in need of rehabilitation and €4.0 million is proposed for post-conflict projects to rehabilitate schools in the north and east of the country and to extend an ongoing rural development project into the former conflict zone.
Economic co-operation: From a total of €5.3 million in this area, €2.0 million are earmarked to foster a trade and business environment in which EU/Sri Lanka economic relations can grow, in particular through institutional capacity building. This support should also help Sri Lanka maximise the benefits it draws from existing WTO agreements, and those being negotiated under the Doha Development Agenda. The remaining €3.5 million has been programmed to assist Sri Lanka to re-establish its domestic airline network in the aftermath of the civil conflict during which time the internal airline industry ceased operations.
The €4 million support for post-conflict projects, foreseen in the NIP, was announced earlier, at a donor conference in Oslo in November 2002, as part of a supplementary 2003 package of €17.5 million targeted at support for the Sri Lankan peace process.
An announcement on further support to the peace process will be made at the Tokyo pledging conference in June 2003.
The Government of Sri Lanka has been consulted on the NIP and has endorsed it.
Country Strategy Papers were introduced in 2001 as part of a wider programme of Commission reforms in the field of External Assistance. Their purpose is to improve the coherence of the policy towards third countries and particularly, to ensure a match between political priorities and spending on co-operation.
For further information: http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/sri_lanka/intro/index.htm