COLOMBO, 01 April 2010: Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, speaking at the recent annual joint review of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), stated that the Sri Lanka has moved to a middle income country and, expected to grow at a higher rate and to double the per capita income within the next five years. He further outlined the development strategies and expectations of the government to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world by strengthening home-grown model, developing infrastructure facilities and reducing regional disparities. Dr. Jaysundera underscored the importance of the UN system in assisting Government with post conflict development, including support to home-grown approaches, through the UNDAF.
Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator described the wide range of UN work throughout Sri Lanka, complimenting national efforts. He said that the UN is committed to support Sri Lankans as they work to consolidate the gains from peace and translate these into more rapid and equitable human development. “As a long-standing close partner and contributor to Sri Lanka’s development achievements over the last 50 years, through good and hard times, the UN has unique capacities to help the Government to meet these objectives.”
Mr. Neil Buhne outlined how the objectives in the UNDAF were designed to support the government’s development programme set out in the Mahinda Chinthana, while noting the government’s ownership and commitment to implement the UNDAF.
The UNDAF is a five year plan which has been operational since 2008, and the framework outlines how UN agencies and the government work together in achieving Sri Lanka’s medium-term development priorities. The framework envisages a resource envelop of US$ 365 million over the five year period and has particular focus on poverty reduction, governance, consolidation of peace and achieving gender equality. The United Nations provided US$ 132 million in development aid to Sri Lankans in 2009, most of which is in addition to humanitarian assistance.