Sri Lanka

World Bank invited to administer Sri Lanka reconstruction fund

Press Release No: 2003/197/SAR
COLOMBO, January 13 - The World Bank is working out the details of a trust fund to support Sri Lanka's reconstruction following an invitation from the Government of Sri Lanka and its partners in the peace negotiations, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, to act as custodian.

The North-East Reconstruction Fund will be designed to allow the Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs, a sub-committee of the Sri Lankan peace process, to rapidly and flexibly apply resources to meet the immediate needs of people affected by conflict, both returnees and those who remained in the conflict areas.

"This fund should be an instrument with which to pursue the peace, prosperity and happiness of all Sri Lankans," said Mieko Nishimizu, World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region. "We look to Sri Lanka's own development vision and leadership to drive all of us and we look forward to strong teamwork among all donors, in the singular interest of the people of Sri Lanka and their future."

The Bank will work out the details of the trust fund and submit these to its Board shortly.

World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka Peter Harrold said the fund would be designed as a flexible mechanism to enable Sri Lanka's authorities to put their reconstruction commitments into action. "If Sri Lanka is to meet the expectations of its people: that there is indeed a better life in peace, they will need reliable and speedy access to resources. As the Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs determines the priorities for reconstruction, the fund should give it the instrument to translate this rapidly into impact on the ground, using funds that are neither tied nor earmarked, in order to have maximum effectiveness."


In Washington: Zita Lichtenberg
Tel. (202) 483-8503