Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Japan to extend Rs. 26,070 million ODA loan for six projects

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PRESS RELEASE

The Government of Japan has decided to extend the 35th ODA Loan package amounting to a total of Yen 33,630 million (approximately Rs. 26,070 million) to the Government of Sri Lanka for the implementation of the six projects.

Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Representative of the Government of Japan and former UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, conveyed this message to Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe when he paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister on February 13, 2003.

In light of the traditionally friendly relationships between Japan and Sri Lanka and as a follow-up to the visit to Sri Lanka last month of the Foreign Minister Ms Yoriko Kawaguchi, who said that Japan would actively support the efforts to end the two decades long conflict by helping Sri Lanka to face the challenging task for rehabilitation and reconstruction, the new ODA loan will be extended to six projects focusing on poverty reduction through economic growth. These projects include Plantation Reform Project II, Pro-poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement (PEACE) Project, Provincial Road Improvement Project, Small-scale Infrastructure Rehabilitation/Upgrading Project, Power Sector Restructuring Project and Power Sector Restructuring Program.

While Japan is now active in supporting the projects that meet the most pressing needs of the vulnerable people in the North and East of Sri Lanka, two decades of the conflict have taken their toll on the South as well. Japan recognizes that we have to heal the wounds which virtually all parts of the country have suffered from the conflict. Japan has offered to host a Conference for reconstruction of Sri Lanka in Tokyo in June this year.

Since the ethnic conflict in the past two decades has affected not only the North and East regions but also the South and West regions, "the peace dividend" needs to benefit all. Japan will continue to provide assistance to the whole of Sri Lanka.

The people and the Government of Japan sincerely hope that Japan's major on-going projects such as (1)Southern Highway Construction Project (2)Samanalawewa Hydroelectric Power Project (3)Walawe Left Bank Irrigation Project (4)Kirinda Fisheries Harbour and Tangalle Fisheries Harbour Projects (5)Matara General Hospital and Ratnapura General Hospital Upgrading Project (6)Poverty Alleviation Micro Finance Project, just to name some, will bring more concrete benefit in the days ahead in transport, power, water, health service, agriculture and fisheries sectors of Sri Lanka in tandem with the immediate and humanitarian assistance to the North and East regions.

35th Yen Loan Package

1 - Plantation Reform Project (Yen1,836 million)(approximately Rs. 1,423 million)

The Project will provide housing loans, improved amenities, and social programs, to improve the living and working conditions of the estate workers

2 - Provincial Road Improvement Project(Yen 5,811 million)(approximately Rs. 4,505 million)

The Project will rehabilitate secondary roads (C, D and E class road) and bridges in Central Province and Sabaragamuwa Province, in order to contribute to the development of local economy through reliable traffic network.

3 - Pro-poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement (PEACE) Project (Yen 6,010 million)(approximately Rs. 4,659 million)

The Project is a comprehensive rural development program aiming at increased agricultural productivity and sustainable development through rehabilitation of irrigation systems, strengthening of farmers organizations, and other related activities in the North Western, North Central, and Central Provinces. In the North and East Provinces, the Project envisages the pilot scheme for rehabilitation of irrigation facilities as the situation on the ground allows for its implementation.

4 - Power Sector Restructuring Program (Yen 7,440 million)(approximately Rs. 5,767 million)

The Program aims at establishing a power sector structure which enables to provide stable and high-quality power at modest price by 1) introducing competition; 2) enhancing sector efficiency; 3) improving transparency.

5 - Power Sector Restructuring Project (Yen 2,938 million)(approximately Rs.2,278 million)

The Project will connect the Kerawalapitiya combined cycle power plant station and the transmission network of Ceylon Electricity Board(CEB) so that it will be capable of supplying the stable electricity and meet the demand growth of electricity.

6 - Small-scale Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Upgrading Project (Yen 9,595 million)(approximately Rs. 7,438 million)

From the viewpoint of balanced growth, the Project aims at improvement of basic conditions for living in rural areas through rehabilitation and upgrading of small-scale pro-poor infrastructure (water supply, sanitation, irrigation, road, bridges, and education).