The World Bank Board of Executive Directors completed a five-day visit to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand some of the work being implemented under World Bank-supported projects in the island.
The nine-member delegation visited the districts of Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy. They observed a chronic kidney disease services & tertiary level health care services available to patients in the North Central Province and progress of The Second Health Sector Development Project (HSDP). They saw livelihood restoration in a resettled area and services under the North East Local Service Improvement Project (NELSIP).
They further observed the impact of partner organizations of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group who are helping boost financial inclusion and supply chain development in the country. In Jaffna IFC client Cargills (Ceylon) PLC’s operations were observed in a meeting with farmers and local community leaders.
In the Central Province, the delegation met with IFC client SANASA Development Bank and their stakeholders in Kandy to understand how the bank is boosting financial inclusion across the country. Early childhood development efforts under the recent Early Childhood Development Project and disaster risk mitigation efforts implementation under Climate Resilience Improvement Project (CRIP) were other projects visited.
During the five-day visit, the Executive Directors met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake to understand the current country context and challenges, the Government’s reform program and priorities for World Bank engagement in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has an active World Bank portfolio comprising 13 projects (11 International Development Agency (IDA) operations and two International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) operations) with a total net commitment value of $1.53 billion. Human development accounts for 34 percent of the overall portfolio followed by livelihoods and rural development (26 percent), urban development (25 percent), and resilience to climate and disaster risk (15 percent). Trust funds have continued to play an important role in implementing the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy in Sri Lanka, supporting both knowledge support, as well as providing stand-alone or co-financing for projects. The portfolio currently comprises nine recipient-executed trust funds of a total net commitment value of $63.8 million. IFC’s current total committed investment portfolio stands at $230 million as of June 30, 2015. IFC’s advisory projects are helping to boost access to finance and insurance, build business skills for entrepreneurs, develop supply chains, and promote the growth of tourism.
The World Bank Group Board members are collectively called the Executive Directors. The Board of Directors include the President of the World Bank Group and 25 Executive Directors. Member countries of the World Bank Group appoint or elect Executive Directors to the Boards of the IBRD, IDA, IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). While there are four Boards, Executive Directors serving on these Boards are usually the same.
The delegation that visited Sri Lanka comprised of Executive Directors: Choi Heenam, Frieden Joerg, Subhash Garg, Lourenco Ana, Lushin Andrei, Silaban Rionald, McGuire Matthew, Rojas Ramirez Jose and Alternate Executive Director Bajare Sanita.