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World Bank Gives 125 Million Dollars to Boost Sri Lanka Peace Bid

The World Bank announced it had approved a loan of 125 million dollars to help Sri Lanka reduce poverty and boost its fragile peace bid with Tamil Tiger rebels. The loan granted under the bank’s new Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) scheme is aimed at helping the island gain an economic growth rate of seven percent within the next three years, up from four percent last year. “The challenge of securing a lasting peace will require a sustained reduction of conflict-related poverty throughout the island of Sri Lanka,” the bank said in a statement issued here Wednesday. It said a significant chunk of the loan will go to the island’s embattled northern and eastern regions where infrastructure has been destroyed due to decades of fighting between government troops and Tamil rebels. “Our contribution to the peace process is primarily to support the reconstruction of the conflict-affected areas and the rebuilding of capacity,” said the bank’s country director for Sri Lanka, Peter Harrold. “It is vital to restore and improve public services in the northeast of Sri Lanka, and a significant proportion of the resources provided under this credit is designed to facilitate this.” Full Story

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