(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has promised to President Maithripala Sirisena to provide a total sum of USD 445 million-ADB assistance to Sri Lanka for its three major projects.
This agreement was reached when President Sirisena, who is on a state visit to the Philippines, made an observational visit to the Headquarters of ADB in Manila, on Thursday (17) and met with the ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
They include, USD 300 million under the South Asian Sub-region Economic Cooperation (SASEC) assistance for the Port Access Elevated Highway Project (PAEHP).
Furthermore, ADB agreed to provide USD 145 million for science and technology, human resource development programme in Sri Lanka. The Bank also agreed to provide an additional USD 10 million for urban project preparatory facility technical assistance.
The agreements were signed by President Maithripala Sirisena and ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
During this meeting, President Sirisena further said that today Sri Lanka is facing two major challenges and those challenges are elimination of poverty from the country and curbing drug smuggling. The President also said that the country is expecting a prominent assistance from ADB in the process of curbing drug smuggling into Sri Lanka and eradicating poverty.
The Philippines President said that the ADB could provide technical assistance to the Customs Department for strengthening illegal drug detection.
Speaking at the event, President Sirisena said that Sri Lanka is suffering from both drought and floods and there is a need for a formal programme to face it. The ADB agrees to assist in Climate Change Mitigation projects in Sri Lanka.
The President explains the programme of the government of Sri Lanka implemented to achieve success in the sustainable development goals and also it was an essential to develop the economy in the country. Meanwhile, ADB President elucidates that although the expected targets are not completely achieved, but Sri Lanka has been able to bring a remarkable economic growth rate.
The President of the ADB said that ADB is supporting Sri Lanka at present in the fields of energy protection, agriculture, infrastructure, climate and environment protection, forestry, and the support will continue. In addition, he also said that in the near future, it will be expected to assist in the development of new projects in irrigation, highways and digital infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.
The ADB President is expected to provide special assistance to develop financial management through the development of small and medium scale agriculture in the country.
Thus the ADB President who appreciated the progress gained in the field of health in Sri Lanka and said that the Asian Development Bank will look into the possibility of supporting programmes to develop the tourism field.
The President who made aware the ADB President on the program conducted by Sri Lanka on environmental conservation said that the expectation is to develop the forest density of the country from 28 per cent to 32 per cent and that he made discussions with the Minister of Environment over the matter and urged the support of the ADB President in this matter.
In order to eradicate the damage done to crops by the animals the President discussed with the ADB President over the need of an immediate programme.
The President was thankful for the cooperation provided by ADB in building healthy ties with Sri Lanka since 1966 more than a half a century and appreciated contribution made by ADB towards the other developing countries of the region.
Thkehiko Nakao, who recalled the official visits made by him to Sri Lanka in several times said that he is happy on the transformative condition that is prevailing in the country. Sri Lanka is one country that is suitable to travel within the other Asian countries said, the President of ADB, Thkehiko Nakao.