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* US$ 200 million loan from ADB to support Sri Lanka's Skills Sector Development Program
Thu, May 29, 2014, 11:27 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 29, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government Monday signed two loan agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to obtain financial assistance of US$ 200 million to implement the government's Skills Sector Development Program (SSDP) that is aimed at increasing the employability of the Sri Lankan workforce, particularly youth.

The SSDP aims to establish an efficient skills education system to meet the local and foreign labor market demand by 2020.

The programme will reconfigure of skills, abilities and competencies of the youth to meet the demand of the global economy and support the country's transition to knowledge-based economy as stated in the Government's Policy Framework of "Mahinda Chintana Vision for the Future".

Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. P B Jayasundera and Ms. Sri Widowati, Country Director of ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission signed the two loan agreements Monday.

The financial assistance will be provided through the lender's new financing modality, Results - Based Lending Program (RBLP), which will provide US$ 100 million over a period of 3 years from 2014 for the implementation of Skills Sector Enhancement Program (SSEP).

ADB financing will be done purely on sector wide approach and loan proceeds will be used to support the medium-term expenditure programme of the skills development sector over the stipulated period.

The financing will be used achieve four major outputs in the skills development sector; (i) improved quality of Tertiary Vocational Education and Training (TVET) provision,(ii) enhanced industry partnership for TVET planning and provision, (iii) increased participation and improved equity in TVET, and (iv) improved sector management to implement policy, institutional, and operational reforms.

Relevant Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) have been identified to measure the implementation progress and loan proceeds will be disbursed based on the achievement levels of the specific indicators after evaluation which will be carried out jointly by the government and ADB in the 2nd quarter of each year.

Sri Lanka will receive about US$ 40 million in 2014, US$ 30 million in 2015 and US$ 30 million in 2016 based on the implementation progress of the program.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development (MYASD) will be the Executing Agency for SSEP, and the implementing agencies will be the Ministry and respective line Ministries.

The SSEP is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

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