AfDB and Japan provide $203 million to support food security and livelihood recovery in Sri Lanka
Friday, September 9, 2022, 7:46 p.m. SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
9 September, Colombo: The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Sri Lanka today signed a $200 million emergency assistance loan and a $3 million grant from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JFPR).
This will ensure access to food and protect the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children. The loan funds were reallocated from the AfDB’s ongoing portfolio, the AfDB said in a statement.
The $200 million loan will be financed from the ADB’s ordinary capital resources. In addition, the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JFPR) will provide a grant of US$03 million through AfDB to finance the project activities. The total cost of the project is estimated at US$203.36 million, of which US$0.36 million has been agreed to be borne by the government.
The Secretary of Treasury and Ministry of Finance, KM Mahinda Siriwardana, signed the Loan Agreement for the Government of Sri Lanka and the AfDB Country Director for Sri Lanka, Chen Chen, signed on behalf of the AfDB. The signing of the loan took place in the presence of the Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mizukoshi Hideaki.
“This emergency relief loan will provide much-needed financing to ensure access to food and protect the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable during the unprecedented economic crisis that Sri Lanka is currently facing,” said said Mr. Siriwardana.
“The project will provide crucial support to the government to expand assistance to vulnerable groups and restore the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, including farmers.”
Amid the current economic difficulties, food insecurity has severely affected the people of Sri Lanka. The assistance will extend direct financial support to the poor and vulnerable while stimulating livelihood development activities and agricultural production and improving social protection systems.
“This loan is part of the AfDB’s emergency response program to the multifaceted challenges facing Sri Lanka. The AfDB has responded to immediate needs, such as essential medical supplies, water treatment equipment and working capital for small and medium enterprises by reallocating surpluses from outstanding loans,” Mr. Chen said.
“Going forward, the AfDB will continue to work closely with its development partners to support Sri Lanka’s recovery from the economic crisis.
For at least 3 months, the project will support the temporary increase of the monthly cash grant amount and the number of beneficiaries of existing social assistance programs.
In addition, it will replace monthly food stamps for pregnant and lactating women with higher value cash grants, while extending support to undernourished children under 2 years of age.
The project will also upgrade information technology systems and digital tools for the Samurdhi program and agricultural and agrarian development to improve the selection, verification, monitoring and reporting of cash grant recipients, and improve financial, advisory and other services for low-income families and farmers. .
The project will adopt strengthened financial management and governance measures and follow AfDB procurement and anti-corruption policies during implementation.
JFPR’s $3 million grant will cover basic needs, such as food, hygiene kits and medicine. It will support the development of livelihoods for vulnerable women and children and strengthen support mechanisms for victims of gender-based and domestic violence.
To promote advanced practices and technologies for precision agriculture and improved crop productivity among farmers, especially women farmers, the grant will support the upgrading and implementation of the certification program for good agricultural practices.
“The economic crisis has affected the most vulnerable communities such as women and people with special needs. I am confident that the support provided by the government and people of Japan, together with the AfDB, will provide the necessary protection and enhance the dignity of those in need,” Mr. Hideaki said.
The AfDB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while continuing its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Founded in 1966, it is owned by 68 members, including 49 from the region.