‘Govt utilizes foreign assistance productively’
Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common amenities
Minister Wimal Werawansa yesterday said the government has been
successful in mobilizing and utilizing substantial volumes of foreign
assistance towards the public investment strategy and socio-economic
development in the country.
The minister was speaking at the first meeting of Regional Slum
Upgrading Working Group in Teheran.
He said Sri Lanka wishes to harness international cooperation and
assistance for the achievements of its priorities.
“Mobilization of housing finance, international development, basic
infrastructure provision, development of monitoring mechanisms, human
resources development, strengthening of community based
organizations(CBOs) are some important areas identified for
international corporation”, he said.
Weerawansa said urbanization is not synonymous with human progress
and urban slum growth is outpacing urban growth by a wide margin.
“Approximately half of the world’s population live in cities and towns.
One out of three urban dwellers, approximately 1 billion people are
living in under-served settlements” ‘ he said.
The minister said 800 million children go to sleep without dinner in
the world and the majority of these children live in urban and
semi-urban under-served settlements.
“Cramp cities are a product of urban-rural disparity which leads to
migration of people from rural areas to cities for economic reasons.
Urban based and trade dependent economic policies promoted by
international lending agencies have created this situation in most
countries”, he said.
The minister said the situation is aggravated by internal conflict
“The efforts of the world community in solving the problem of cramped
cities have not been successful.
“Yet the Western world is spending trillions of dollars in wars waged
against these communities”.
Weerawansa said Sri Lanka has taken positive steps to change this
scenario. After the dawn of peace, the government is spearheading a
massive development programme throughout the country under the Mahinda
Chinthana as the pathway to create a conducive climate for ethnic
harmony, he said.
Minister Weerawansa educated the participants on the programmes
launched by the government to ensure quality houses for every family.
He said the Janasevena housing programme is aimed at solving the
housing issues of low income groups.