Sri Lanka is rising in the middle-income country ranks. Even during the three decades of conflict, the country maintained at least 5% of growth throughout. Unemployment rate (7% in 2005 to 4% in 2011, excluding North and East Provinces) and poverty rate (15% in 2006/07 to 9% in 2009/10) have dropped dramatically, says the World Bank.
The World Bank will support the government’s efforts to address the challenges and constraints for achieving its vision, specifically by: facilitating sustained private and public investment through improving the investment climate and increasing fiscal space and public spending efficiency; supporting structural shifts in the economy through assistance for a knowledge-based economy, and increased internal Sand international integration and competitiveness; and promoting improved living standards and social inclusion through support for increasing quality of services, reducing the prevalence of malnutrition and promoting social inclusion and equitable access, the Bank further said.
The quality of the national road network has improved with a reduction in the International Roughness Index (from 9.5 in 2005 to 6.2 in 2012) and a decline in the network vehicle operating costs (from 24 Rs/km in 2005 to 14 Rs/km in 2012).
Bank support through the Road Sector Assistance Project upgraded 618 km of national roads and the roughness index is far below the national average. Support to rural roads has contributed 154 km of repaired roads, with a 60% reduction in travel time in 2012 when compared to 2005.
The Sri Lanka portfolio is healthy with no problem projects or projects at risk, and 100% proactivity. Following the recent approval of the Second Health Sector Development Project, the portfolio is comprised of 16 projects with a total net commitment of $1.49 billion.
The foreign aid profile in Sri Lanka has changed considerably in recent years. With Sri Lanka graduating to the middle income level, the government of Sri Lanka has broadened its options for foreign financing for public investment, in a mix of less to non-concessional financing together with the available concessional financing, the World Bank added.
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