Financial Times

Australia provides Rs 3.2 bln assistance to Sri Lanka


The Australian Government will provide an estimated $35.6 million (Rs 3.2 billion) in development assistance to Sri Lanka in 2009-10, it was officially announced last week.

The 2009-10 aid budget places a particular emphasis on helping partner countries to address the impacts of the global recession. New measures were announced in the budget to help developing countries respond to the impact of the global recession and to supporting longer-term development and capacity building efforts, the statement from the government said.

Australia’s estimated $35.6 million contribution to development in Sri Lanka will include up to $7 million to continue work at the community level to assist with rehabilitation, primarily across northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Australia will also help Sri Lanka improve its capacity to manage natural resources, assist in strengthening basic education and provide scholarships to candidates for study in priority sectors.

Support for humanitarian and refugee programs will continue to be a key element of Australia’s aid programme. This will include the provision of essential humanitarian support to civilians who have been displaced as a result of the conflict in the north of Sri Lanka. Australia has already committed over $23.5 million for humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka since December 2008, the statement said.

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