Sri Lanka gets US$42mn from World Bank to cope with disasters

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will get $42 million from the World Bank to build flood control infrastructure and ‘disaster-proof’ irrigation and road networks to better protect people from extreme weather events.

“Recent floods and landslides have demonstrated the challenges posed by extreme weather conditions to economic growth prospects and poverty reduction of Sri Lanka," Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank country director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said.

"Managing the risks to people’s lives, investments and assets, in general, through risk financing is therefore a priority for the government."

A part of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo bordering the Kelani River went under water, leaving thousands displaced after heavy rains from a tropical storm that pushed up water levels higher than usual.

The area is subject to annual flooding, and rapid urbanisation had brought new houses to areas where long-time residents had avoided construction.

The funds would be on top of $101 million already given through a facility designed for middle-income countries to quickly draw down funds.

Sri Lanka was able to use the disaster relief funds after President Maithripala Sirisena declared a ‘state of disaster’ in the Western, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Uva provinces of Sri Lanka.  (Colombo/Sept06/2016)


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