Sri Lanka receives record US$ 2.2 b grants from donors
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Finance Minister Dr.
Sarath Amunugama, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, World Bank
Vice President Praful Patel and other dignitaries at the Sri Lanka
Development Forum at the Earl’s Regency, Kandy yesterday.Pictures by
The Government recorded an unprecedented response from the donor
community yesterday for its post tsunami reconstruction plan, on the
first date of the Sri Lanka Development Forum held in Kandy with donors
making commitments worth US$ 2.2 billion yesterday itself, Finance
Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama announced last evening here in Kandy.
Addressing the media at the conclusion of the first day sessions of
the Development Forum, which focused on post tsunami reconstruction
plans, Dr. Amunugama said the commitments by the donors topped the
entire tsunami reconstruction requirements presented by the Government
at yesterday's sessions.
"More than ninety per cent of the commitments pledged were in the
form of grants", Dr. Amunugama added.
A confident Finance Minister said donors were impressed with the
presentations made on the post tsunami reconstruction plans of the
The estimated post tsunami reconstruction requirement was put at US$
2 billion. Minister Amunugama said the donors were impressed by the
'excellent' speech made by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
at the inauguration of the Development Forum. "The President's speech
has had a tremendous impact on the donor community today", the Minister
Deputy Finance Minister Tilak Siyambalapitiya said the bilateral
agencies made a commitment worth US$ 745 million at the Forum while
multilateral agencies and Non government Organisations making
commitments worth US$ 631 million and US$ 853 million respectively.
"Ninety per cent of the commitments were in the form of grants", the
Deputy Minister said.
Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said the special
feature of the Development Forum was that it had not made any impact on
the country's debts or to the country's budgetary provision since these
commitments were made in the form of grants.
"This is the first time Sri Lanka receiving aids in the form of
grants", he pointed out. He also said the Government has also received
US$ 300 million debt relief from donors.
"Italy and China has written off the debts", Dr. Jayasundera added.