MANILA, PHILIPPINES (August 30, 2022) – The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $200 million emergency assistance loan for Sri Lanka, with funds reallocated from other ongoing AfDB projects , to improve food security and protect the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children.
“Food insecurity has severely affected the people of Sri Lanka in the context of the current economic difficulties. This assistance will expand direct financial support to the poor and vulnerable, boost livelihood development activities and agricultural production, and improve social protection systems,” said Asako Maruyama, Senior Education Specialist at the AfDB for South Asia. “This responds to the government’s request to partially cancel loan proceeds from ongoing projects and use the funds for this emergency response.”
The project will continue, for at least 3 months, the temporary increase in the monthly amount of cash grant and the number of beneficiaries of existing social assistance programs, including the Samurdhi grant program for low-income families, and allowances for the elderly, the disabled and patients with kidney disease. The project will also support, for at least 3 months, a temporary increase in the monthly value of food stamps for pregnant and lactating women, to be replaced by cash grants, and extend support to undernourished children under 2 year.
To increase food production and offset increased agricultural production costs, the project will provide financial support for up to 2 hectares of land cultivated by each farmer in the highest yielding areas over the next growing season. In addition, enhanced livelihood development programs for low-income families will be supported in selected districts over a period of 18-20 months to restore livelihoods and improve resilience and security. eating. 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. .
In addition, the AfDB will administer a $3 million grant from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific to meet basic needs, such as food, hygiene kits and medicine, of women, vulnerable children, elderly and disabled people in shelters and retirement homes and people at risk of being placed in institutions. It will strengthen referral and support mechanisms for victims of gender-based and domestic violence. To promote advanced practices and technologies for precision agriculture and improved crop productivity to farmers, it will support the upgrading and delivery of the Good Agricultural Practices Certification Program.
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.