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Sri Lanka today said it secured 4.5 billion US dollars in aid pledges, but international donors have warned that the cash flow will depend on the progress in the faltering peace process.
Investment Promotions Minister Sarath Amunugama said donors pledged 4.5 billion US dollars to build roads, ports, coal power plants and highways, during the second day of an aid review meeting here.
“International donors expressed satisfaction at our economic track record and we have got commitments up to $ 4.5 billion this year,” he told reporters during the sidelines of the parleys.
Official sources said the government had included some 500 million dollars by way of Indian investment in a power project as part of the aid expected this year.
“Sri Lanka has all the possibilities to reach its Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” said Mr. Praful Patel, Vice President, World Bank addressing the media at the conclusion of the Forum. He added that all the donors had a very positive mindset regarding the discussion as well as the development plan amidst the challenging environment existing in the island.
“We can help to make a difference,” said Mr. Liqun Jin, Vice President, Asian Development Bank (ADB). He said the ADB was committed to assist the Government to achieve the MDGs of Sri Lanka and they were already in the discussion process to provide aid for the Southern Transport Project and the Colombo Port Expansion Project.
The speakers welcomed the development process envisaged in the “Mahinda Chintana – Vision Towards a New Sri Lanka”, and commended the government on the comprehensive articulation of its vision and strategy, prepared with wide consultation involving development partners and all stakeholders. They welcomed the focus on reducing regional and income disparities, and were of the view that though somewhat ambitious, the country has the potential to reach these goals, with the implementing of the Mahinda Chinthana Development Programme, while pursuing a lasting solution to the country’s conflict.