COLOMBO, September 11, 2020---The World Bank has reallocated $56 million from ongoing projects in Sri Lanka to protect the most vulnerable in the agriculture sector, improve COVID-19 protection measures on public transport, facilitate tele-education for school children, and provide digital solutions to improve delivery of public services. This new financing complements the $128.6 million Sri Lanka COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Project, which was approved on April 2.
"We have been working closely with the Government of Sri Lanka to support its COVID-19 emergency response and prepare for a resilient recovery," said Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. "We're moving fast to reallocate financing from existing projects to improve food security and children's education, ensure that people can use public transit without getting sick, and harness digital solutions to continue delivering public services."
The financing will help poor and vulnerable farming households purchase seeds and rehabilitate storage facilities to help ensure food security. It will help facilitate learning at home by tele-education and e-learning for school children, especially in rural, smaller and under-resourced schools. It will also help create a safe and hygienic school environment for students once in-person lessons resume.
The financing will also help ensure that essential public transport is disinfected and equipped with hand sanitizers, protective gear and body temperature screening equipment, and also support a digital document management system to improve public services to improve collaboration across government using digital technology and video conferencing to facilitate work from home.
These funds were made available by activating the Contingency Emergency Response Components (CERC) of four active projects. CERCs allow funds to be reallocated from existing projects to address emergency response needs. Funds for a total amount of $56 Million were reallocated with $17 million from the Local Development Support Project (LDSP), $15 million from the General Education Modernization Project (GEMP), $9 million from the Sri Lanka Primary Healthcare System Strengthening Project (PHSSP) and $15 million from the Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project (CSIAP).
The World Bank Group's COVID-19 Response
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. We are supporting public health interventions, working to ensure the flow of critical supplies and equipment, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. We will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans.