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EU gives Sri Lanka Rs8bn grant to improve courts, food safety, low carbon industry

ECONOMYNEXT – The European Union said it will give Sri Lanka three grants worth 35.75 million euro (8.26 billion rupees) to develop the country court system, improve food safety, and build low carbon emission industries.

“These three grants are a tangible pledge of support by the European Union to Sri Lanka targeting three priority areas,” Denis Chaibi, the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka said.

“The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of strengthening a country’s justice system to ensure citizens are able to access justice in a timely, effective, and fair manner.”

Improving food safety will benefit producers and consumers while boosting the potential export of organic agricultural products to the EU and other markets, Ambassador Chaibi said

The grant agreements were signed by Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle.

…”These grants will reinforce the Government’s efforts to strengthen the justice sector, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Sri Lanka and to improve food safety and quality targeting exports,” Attygalle was quoted as saying.

The EU and Sri Lanka will also work together to tackle the common challenges of climate change, a major EU priority, he said

About 18 million euros (4.16 billion rupees ) to the court system for capacity development and technical assistance.

“The overarching goal is to increase efficiency and effectiveness, reduce caseloads in the courts, and in particular to improve access to justice,” the EU said.

The programme will be mainly implemented by UNDP and UNICEF.

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Ten million euros (about 2.31 billion rupees) is allocated to improve food safety, quality, and promote organic agriculture using
methods approved by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“The components, to be implemented by FAO and UNIDO, will strengthen the competitiveness of the agriculture sector through the adoption of good agricultural and hygienic practices, an updated risk-based food control system, and increased consumer awareness,” EU said.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German government agency supporting developing countries too will assist the local organic market, including small and medium-sized businesses to produce at higher volumes and better quality.

Standards required to access major EU markets will be promoted through the National Organic Control Union and the Export Development Board.

The other 7.75 million euro (1.79 billion rupees) will be spent on curbing greenhouse gases aided by UNIDO, in response to a request by the Ministries of Environment, Power, and Industry.
It is expected to support a shift towards a competitive, resource-efficient, low carbon, and climate-resilient industrial sector in Sri Lanka.

“It will help large, medium, and small industries to increase their environmental compliance and reduce emissions, and enable the Government to achieve its international commitments pledged during the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change,” EU said.
(Colombo/Jan13/2021)

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