EU funds 40mn euros for local government development in Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka is to receive a 40 million euros from the European Union (EU) to co-finance the ‘Strengthening Transformation, Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement (STRIDE) Project, a statement from the mission office in Colombo said.

The EU in collaboration with the World Bank will introduce a small grants scheme to local authorities to strengthen their capacities in planning and service delivery with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a statement from the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka said.

“It will be implemented in the Northern, Eastern, North Central, and Uva Provinces,” the statement said.

An estimated one million Sri Lankans under 134 local government authorities are expected to benefit from the project over four years.

The statement said that STRIDE will have special mediation boards to improve citizens’ experience of and access to justice services to strengthen the community.

R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary to the Treasury at the Ministry of Finance, signed the financing agreement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka on 9 October 2019.

STRIDE will contribute to long-term peace, security and development in Sri Lanka, Ambassador of the Delegation of EU to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Tung-Lai Margue said.

“Good governance and the participation of communities are important to ensure that a country’s growth reaches everyone,” he said.

“Local government structures must be responsive to people’s needs. These are key elements in ensuring effective governance on the ground which help address causes of conflict.”

The activities of the project will be implemented by the World Bank, UNDP and the British Council collaborating with The Asia Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs, Provincial Council & Local Government and the Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms.

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(Colombo/Oct09/2019)