According to the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr Shehan Semasinghe, the World Bank has promised crisis-hit countries that it will continue to help efforts to stabilise the island nation’s economy and speed up its recovery.
According to him, the World Bank Group extended its assistance to Sri Lanka. Shehan Semasinghe is in Washington for the “2023 Spring Meetings” of the “World Bank Group” and the “International Monetary Fund.”
On Monday, Anna Bjerde, the Managing Director of Operations at the World Bank, met with Mr Semasinghe, Secretary to the Treasury K. M. Mahinda Siriwardana, and Central Bank Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe.
The Minister reportedly stated that the discussion centred on how Sri Lanka’s reform agenda will aid in the country’s economic revival.
Following the conversation, Mr Semasinge wrote on Facebook, “Amazing to note the continuing backing of the World Bank for building up social security systems 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 talk about how we may help Sri Lanka as it executes economic stabilisation, increases social protection, and brings back growth,” Bjerde tweeted.
The state minister reportedly spoke on Monday with Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Executive Director of the IMF, about the country’s significant plan for change and its determination to complete the IMF programme.
Years of poor management and the galloping pandemic have caused a devastating economic and humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka.
A first in the nation’s history, the Sri Lankan government announced a debt default on more than USD 51 billion in foreign loans in May last year.
To tackle its economic difficulties and encourage financial assistance from other development partners, the debt-ridden nation last month got “USD 333 million, the first instalment of the USD 3 billion IMF bailout package.”
Following protracted negotiations stalled by Colombo’s unmanageable debt, the IMF bailout, the 17th in Sri Lanka’s history, was granted.