COLOMBO, August 19, 2013 – The World Bank’s newly appointed country director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives today signed the financing agreement for a $200 million concessionary loan to Sri Lanka to help upgrade the standards of performance of the public health system and enable it to better respond to the challenges of a middle income country.
As her first official engagement, Françoise Clottes signed the financing agreement of the Second Health Sector Development Project (SHSDP). The objective of the project is to improve prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and to further strengthen the interventions to improve nutrition outcomes.
“We are happy to further support the health sector that has achieved remarkable results in most health indicators,” said Clottes, “With this loan we are supporting the Government’s efforts to improve service delivery and further build system capacity at the central, provincial and district levels. A modernized and efficient health system aiming at international standards will help achieve the objective of improving living standards and social inclusion, and contribute to the broader objectives set out in the ‘Mahinda Chintana’.
The health system, which has achieved strong results in reducing communicable diseases and improving maternal and child health outcomes is now facing new challenges in the context of an aging population and a public health priority transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases. The National Health Development Plan of the Government of Sri Lanka has identified these priority challenges and the World Bank is partnering with the Ministry of Health in the implementation of the plan. The Second Health Sector Development project aims to improve the standards of performance of human resource, introduce electronic health information systems and improve the quality of the health sector. The project will support the introduction of quality management units, strengthen accident, rehabilitation and emergency services and improve quality assurance programs of laboratory services in health facilities across the country
Clottes’s appointment as the World Bank country director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives was effective from August 1, 2013. A french national, Clottes has worked at the World Bank since 1994 and has exercised managerial responsibilities within the World Bank since 2000. Her experience includes analytical and operational work in several regions, including Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Europe and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, with a strong focus on middle income countries. Her last assignment before moving to Colombo was as country director for the Caribbean Countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, responsible for 14 countries.