support needed on Lankan project for new US aid
A team of US officials visiting Colombo recently to discuss grant
aid under a new programme called the Millennium Challenge Account
(MCA), stressed that any Sri Lankan project seeking aid should have
the support of a broad section of the population.
will support a project that has the support of a broad section of
the people. We will conduct a due diligence … we'll talk to
NGOs. We will ensure that all people have an opportunity to participate
in the (selection of the) local project,” David Nummy, an
administrator from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) told
reporters. He was responding to comments that there was criticism
of the Regaining Sri Lanka programme - the basis on which the $4.5
billion donor aid was pledged - that it didn't take into account
all the views of the people including farmers, fishermen and peasants.
five-man team from MCC team was visiting Sri Lanka as part of a
visit to 15 other countries who along with Sri Lanka are eligible
for a new funding programme approved by the US Congress earlier
this, the 16 countries are entitled to a total of $1billion this
year followed by an addition $2.5 billion next year and $5 billion
the year after and so on.
guidelines are strict and eligibility doesn't automatically mean
all the 16 would get this grant aid. Projects from the eligible
countries would be based on an evaluation of 16 key criteria including
governance, accountability and corruption levels.
new form of foreign assistance is a 50 percent increase from the
annual US government development assistance programme with its main
focus on raising economic growth and tackling poverty. The programme
has been launched to address funding weaknesses in the past 50 years
and lessons learnt by the US during this period.
is a unique chance for Sri Lanka to make use of this offer,"
said Nummy adding that Sri Lankan officials from the government
and private sector were enthusiastic by the new programme. Other
team officials said a country proposal could seek 100 percent funding
for the project, be part funded or could be part of another project
or an ongoing project. The project could also have counterpart funds
from the receiving country.