1954 The World Bank Group (WBG) in Sri Lanka
The World Bank Group (WBG) has been a partner in Sri Lanka’s development for close to six decades. During that period, the country has moved from a low income country to join the ranks of middle-income countries.
The WBG consists of five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) that are committed to achieving the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
Three WBG institutions are active in Sri Lanka: IBRD, IDA and IFC. IBRD and IDA aim to reduce poverty by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees and non-lending instruments including analytical and advisory services. IBRD provides financing to middle-income and credit-worthy poorer countries, while IDA provides financing to the poorest countries at highly concessional or zero interest rates. Sri Lanka, with its lower middle-income country status, is an IBRD and IDA blend country.
The first World Bank loan to Sri Lanka financed the Aberdeen-Laxapana power generation project in 1954. Since then IDA commitments to date amount to US$4.86 billion and IBRD commitments to US$315 million. The current active World Bank portfolio in Sri Lanka comprises 13 projects (11 IDA operations and 2 IBRD operations) with a total net commitment value of (approximately) US$1.5 billion. World Bank has supported: the development of Sri Lanka’s transport and telecommunications infrastructure; the expansion and improvement of its health, education, water and sanitation services; the enhancement of its agricultural productivity and the development of rural livelihoods.
IFC blends investment with advice and resource mobilization to help the private sector advance development. IFC financial products enable companies to manage risk and broaden their access to foreign and domestic capital markets. The advice provided helps unlock private sector investment, which is essential for expanding businesses, creating jobs, and growing economies.
Since 1956, IFC has provided over US$1 billion in financing for its own account in Sri Lanka. IFC’s priorities in the country include access to finance, infrastructure, tourism, and agribusiness, with a focus on balanced regional growth. Over the last three years, IFC has quadrupled its total committed portfolio in Sri Lanka from US$137m in June 2011 to US$517m by January 2015.