Colombo, July 23, 2010: Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Vice President for South Asia ended a three-day visit to Sri Lanka pledging support to the country’s transit to a middle income country at peace.
During her visit to Sri Lanka, Guerrero called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and key officials of the Government.
Sri Lanka, emerging from three decade-long armed conflict, is at a critical juncture of transition to a middle income country in lasting peace. “The World Bank is ready to support this transition through global knowledge sharing, policy dialogue and projects. In our meeting with the President, we talked about the importance of his government’s commitment to securing a lasting peace through reconciliation,” said Guerrero.
In addition President Rajapaksa said that the Sri Lankan leadership has initiated several development projects in the north and thanked the Bank for its support to bring normalcy to the life of the displaced people through the Cash for Work program.
Guerrero visited the recently rehabilitated Adampan Hospital which is now operating an Out Patients Service and the conflict affected village of Panakattukottu in Mannar. She commended the government on its effort to resettle IDPs and provide services, but also recognized the daunting challenges returnees are facing.
In Kilinochchi, she visited the Uruthirapuram village and met beneficiaries of the Cash for Work program. “I am encouraged to see that the Bank-funded Cash for Work program, co-financed by the government of Australia, has been supporting returnees with an immediate income and helping them rebuild much needed community infrastructure of their choice. I hope this program continues to help them until they are able to resume their livelihoods,” said Guerrero.
The Vice President also met with development partners, civil society and private sector, to share views on ways to support the country’s transition, how to address development challenges and realize the new emerging opportunities.
‘’The World Bank will align our assistance to support the transition, continuing to assist the conflict affected north and east. In doing so, we will work together with partners under the leadership of the government,’’ said Guerrero.