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* World Bank grants US$ 147 million loan to Sri Lanka to develop major cities
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 12:45 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 01, Colombo: Recognizing the Sri Lankan government's vision to develop a well-planned and connected network of cities and townships throughout the country by 2020, the World Bank has agreed to grant US$ 147 million to Sri Lanka.

The loan assistance through the World Bank's lending arm, International Development Association (IDA) will be utilized to develop four major cities under the government's Economic Policy Framework.

The government has identified Colombo, Hambantota, Trincomalee and Jaffna as Large Cities to be developed under the programme while nine other cities covering the entire country will also be developed as Urban Growth Centers.

The World Bank has also agreed to provide a credit of US$ 102 million from its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for Sri Lanka to immediately access in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Sri Lanka had faced an increased occurrence of natural disasters such as floods, landslides, cyclones etc. during the last two decades, particularly due to climatic changes.

The IBRD will make the funds available for disbursement after the occurrence of a natural disaster.

Both proposals submitted by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning, to conduct negotiations and to enter into a Financing Arrangement with the World Bank were approved by the Cabinet.

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