Bank Group Contribution
The Government of Sri Lanka has launched an ambitious program of economic and physical regeneration for Metropolitan Colombo to transform it into a modern, world-class capital. To reflect this post-conflict development strategy and the priorities of the government, the World Bask has focused on urban engagement. The project is the first World Bank-supported urban development in Colombo with $213 million in support and the government contributing $100 million. The Bank has also mobilized a grant with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD) to conduct further studies on flood mitigation and Colombo’s urban wetlands. Technical financing has informed robust decision making such as in providing the rationale to conserve the city’s wetlands.
The project is being implemented by the Project Management Unit within the recently created Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. It reports to a steering committee composed of partners across a number of key agencies: the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, the Urban Development Authority, the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ministry of Irrigation, Colombo Municipal Council, and other Local Authorities. MCUDP is being implemented in close consultation and collaboration with a number of other projects that have been initiated through various government agencies and the Colombo Municipal Council as part of the government’s urban development activities.
Four years into implementation, the project has already delivered important outcomes. The project has supported analytical work of the economic value of wetlands and increased awareness of the importance of wetlands conservation. The creation of public parks and spaces capitalizing on public spaces and wetlands has also enhanced livability and walkability. Understanding the importance of wetlands conservation will increase the Government’s ability to use these assets by drawing upon flood control and temperature moderation. In addition, the project supports asset maintenance strategy as part of the project’s technical assistance, to help the local authorities better maintain and operate infrastructure supported by the project. Through the implementation of the drainage components and major flood reduction infrastructure, the staff of the participating agencies will develop skills and capacities to complement the Colombo Metropolitan Region’s development requirements.