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EU aid for Sri Lanka agriculture modernisation, reconciliation

ECONOMYNEXT – The European Union (EU) said it will step up its assistance to Sri Lanka by providing 42 million euro (about Rs6.93 billion) for two programmes to modernise agriculture and strengthen reconciliation between the main ethnic communities.

“The EU aims to help modernise the agriculture sector by improving the government’s institutional capacities, and by introducing innovative packages and associated market and production infrastructure,” a statement said.

The EU will give 30 million euro to support the modernisation of the agricultural sector and 12 million euro to strengthen the reconciliation processes in Sri Lanka after the end of the minority Tamil separatist campaign. The Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and the British Council will also contribute 2.4 euro million and 0.1 million euro, respectively, to the programme on reconciliation.

The programme, aimed at strengthening reconciliation processes, is a direct result of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Sri Lanka in October 2015, the statement said.

This envisaged "new opportunities for the EU to engage with the Government of Sri Lanka in making further progress on reconciliation and supporting priorities of good governance including tackling corruption, promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law”.

The programme will strengthen the governance of reconciliation processes by seeking institutional consensus across various government entities and civil society, the EU said.

It will also be contributing to strengthen linkages between the government and the grassroots population.

“The programme will facilitate initiatives that link reconciliation and non-recurrence by addressing language barriers and psycho-social needs, as well as using arts and culture to break down barriers between communities.”
(COLOMBO, April 7, 2017)


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