People pose for a photograph next to an International Monetary Fund banner, during the World Bank/IMF spring meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington, on April 11, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AP
The World Bank has assured crisis-struck Sri Lanka of continued support to stabilise the island nation’s economy and enhance its economic recovery, State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe has said.
State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe, who is in Washington to attend the 2023 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, said that the global lender extended its support to Sri Lanka, the Colombopage news portal reported on April 11, 2023.
Mr. Semasinghe, along with Central Bank Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe and Secretary to the Treasury K. M. Mahinda Siriwardana, met the Managing Director of Operations of the World Bank, Anna Bjerde, on Monday.
According to the report, the Minister said the discussion focused on how Sri Lanka’s reform agenda will support its economic recovery.
After the discussion, Mr. Semasinge took to Facebook and said, “Great to note the continued support of the World Bank to strengthen the social safety nets and economic stabilisation.” “Good meeting with State Minister of Finance @ShehanSema, @CBSL Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe and Secretary to the Treasury K. M. Mahinda Siriwardana to discuss how we can support #SriLanka as it implements economic stabilisation, steps up social protection and revives growth,” Bjerde tweeted.
Mr. Semasinghe said he also interacted with the World Bank team that specialised in the social safety net interventions, cash transfer programmes and developing effective delivery systems, the NewsFirst news portal said.
According to the report, the state minister also held discussions with the Executive Director of IMF, Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Monday regarding the island nation’s ambitious reform agenda and its commitment to completing the IMF programme.
Sri Lanka has been struck by a catastrophic economic and humanitarian crisis sparked by years of mismanagement and the raging pandemic.
The Sri Lankan government in May last year declared a debt default on over USD 51 billion in foreign loans — a first in the country’s history.
The debt-struck country received USD 333 million dollars, the first tranche of the USD 3 billion IMF bailout programme last month to overcome its economic crisis and catalyse financial support from other development partners.
The IMF bailout, the 17th in Sri Lanka’s history, was approved following prolonged discussions held up over Colombo’s unsustainable debt.