Sri Lanka in new World Bank lending model

EconomyNext – The World Bank supports the new Sri Lankan government’s reforms and is preparing a ‘Systematic Country Diagnostic’, a new lending model aimed at ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, a visiting official said.

“The government has laid out an ambitious reform agenda aimed at improving governance, transparency and accountability and establishing strong institutions for that purpose within its first 100 days," World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Annette Dixon said.
 
"This is no small feat and the bank stands ready to provide support to the government to help achieve these goals,” Dixon was quoted as saying in a statement as she concluded her first visit to Sri Lanka.

Dixon met with President Maithripala Sirisena,  Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe,  Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Policy Planning and  Economic Affairs.

During talks with the private sector, civil society representatives and other development partners, Dixon said the World Bank Group is examining the constraints and opportunities for ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity in Sri Lanka through the preparation of a Systematic Country Diagnostic.

This exercise, she explained, is a part of the World Bank Group’s new model for engagement with country partners and will inform future programming. 

The Systematic Country Diagnostic aims to enable the lender can focus its efforts around goals and activities that are more effective in ending absolute poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. 

It will be followed by the development of a ‘country partnership framework’ (as the country assistance strategy is now called) that will spell out the bank’s priorities and lending, and performance reviews to guide midcourse corrections, and a completion and learning review.

The Systematic Country Diagnostic will use data and analytic methods to identify opportunities for reducing poverty and building shared prosperity while considering the voices of the poor and the views of the private sector and other stakeholders.

During her stay in the country, Dixon visited rural areas to observe World Bank-financed community-based development and livelihood improvement projects.

She also met with small tea holders benefitting from a project, funded by the World Bank Group’s private sector arm IFC, which provides index-based weather insurance.

Dixon also had the opportunity to visit the sites of the Metro Colombo Project that supports urban flood reduction and disaster mitigation.